First-year coach leads with fervor

By Tiffany Roesler

A team is an extension of its coach.

The Cal Poly Pomona women’s basketball team went 28-5 this
season, and earned a spot in the Elite Eight tournament ” Cal Poly
Pomona’s first in nine years.

The Broncos finished in second place to Cal State Monterey Bay
in the conference, but later defeated the Otters to win the CCAA
Championship Tournament title.

This all happened in one season, all under head coach Danelle
Bishop.

Get the picture?

This isn’t the first time Bishop has been the new coach, nor is
it the first time she’s produced great results in a period of one
season.

Before Cal Poly Pomona, Bishop coached at Cal Baptist University
where she was the first coach in its history to produce consecutive
winning seasons for the women’s basketball program.

In 2003, she took her first head coach position at Azusa Pacific
University, where she transformed a team that had a record of 11-21
overall to 20-12 overall.

She led the Cougars to four straight 20-win seasons and four
consecutive berths in the NAIA National Tournament. The Cougars
went 92-41 in Bishop’s four years.

Yes, she carried an outstanding record of 166-90 and multiple
national tournament berths. But it’s not the victories or the
titles that make her a great coach; it’s her passion for the game,
her players, and her unselfish desire to see every player reach
their personal best on and off the court.

“The more time we spent together the more we realized that she
has a great heart, that she truly wants what is best for us, and
she wants our team to succeed,” said junior guard Rosslyn Beard. “I
couldn’t have asked for a better coach to come in and take over our
program.”

But basketball has always been in Bishop’s blood.

Like father, like daughter. Her dad coached and played
basketball, surrounding her in the sport at a young age, and her
father inspired her to pursue a coaching career.

“When I was little I would sit behind him and bug him while he
was coaching, asking ‘why did they do that?'” Bishop said. “I would
watch the game film and college basketball all the time in high
school.”

But for her it wasn’t only about being a great player, it was
about comprehending the game at the next level.

“I wanted to actually understand the game and understand
strategies and philosophies,” Bishop said.

The philosophies and strategies she has practiced have been more
apparent with each game this season. While victories showed the
team’s hard work and high morale, the Broncos kept their heads held
just as high with the losses.

“Coach Bishop instilled in us to always compete hard and to keep
our cool in tough situations,” said Beard. “It’s a token to her
that we stayed calm in certain situations because she is always
poised and confident.”

The best part? It’s only her first season here.

First-year coach leads with fervor

Amanda Newfield / The Poly Post

First-year coach leads with fervor

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