Head Coach Beth O’Boyle is embarking on her third season with VCU Women’s Basketball and her mission is to continue building a successful brand that attracts talent and fans to the program. O’Boyle says in addition to highly involved coaches promoting the program you also need a winning record and a strong partnership with the athletics staff. Important note about the current VCU women’s team: they play fast, they are involved in the Richmond community, and they want you in the stands enjoying the game as much as they do.
O’Boyle’s has a message for those who haven’t experienced game day at the Siegel Center with the women’s team. “I think our style of play is fun to watch. There’s always going to be pace to that game and it’s going to be up and down the floor. We’re going to be making the game fast…I think the one thing that is different about us then watching the men’s games is access to our players. If you want to come in and bring your team to a practice or do a clinic or things like that I love that. We love being able to spread what we’re doing and you can have access to our players. So I think that if you come once you’ll come back again.”
VCU men’s basketball is in the spotlight thanks to a 2011 Final Four run and the women’s program is enjoying a few perks from that popularity. O’Boyle is happy in her new space in VCU’s Basketball Development Center. She said,”VCU did an amazing job with this building. The men’s side and the women’s side are identical. The exact same court with the same locker room and coaches offices. We are connected by the training room, weight room, and then our dining hall.” So what is it like to share the space with Havoc? She adds “Coach Wade and his staff are really great to us and there aren’t any conflicts. As long as everybody can keep winning everybody is happy.”
Indicators for Success
The Rams had a taste of success in the 2015 – 16 season finishing with a 23-10. They competed in the A-10 semi-finals and punched a WNIT post-season bid. While third year coaches can feel the pressure as they settle into a program and their recruits become more experienced players O’Boyle has been driven since day 1. She has said since her arrival it’s about how quickly can you get to the top 4 and then how quickly can you get to the Championship game. If her third year records at Montclair State (18-10 finish and ECAC D-III Metro Tourney) and Stony Brook (24-9 finish and WNIT first round) are any indication then this year should be one to watch.
The Rams had a taste of success in the 2015 – 16 season finishing with a 23-10 record including competing in the A-10 semi-finals and a WNIT post-season bid. VCU returned 9 players from last year’s roster and added 6 new faces to the black and gold, including 5th year player Mooriah Rowser. Rowser averaged 11.1 points per game on 44% shooting her senior at Memphis. Her shooting should boost the Rams offensive power this season.
Records are Made to Be Broken
The final piece is contributed by VCU’s athletics staff. She says one of the best examples is the support of Executive Associate AD Glenn Hofmann. Hofmann came to her with the message, “You can’t just do it by yourself and we can’t do it by ourselves, so we’ve got to come together and see what we can do to really elevate the attendance”. Over the past few years education day has yielded a big turnout for women’s basketball. VCU Athletics did a remarkable job coordinating 28 Richmond Public Schools to set a record breaking attendance of 4,132 for the November 11, 2016 season opener. The team claimed a decisive 73-44 victory over Coppin State and they’re just getting started.
The non-conference schedule contains some challenges for the team and Coach O’Boyle has set her sights on getting to the top. She’s sending an open invitation to experience VCU Women’s Basketball and hopes to see you soon at the Stu!