Aileen Devlin/The Daily Reflector (Photographer)
East Carolina coach Heather Macy shouts instructions from the sideline during a game against UAB on Feb. 28 in Minges Coliseum.
By Ronnie Woodward
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Hours before the East Carolina women’s basketball team started its trek to Tulsa, Okla., on Monday for this week’s Conference USA tournament, it was announced that ECU’s Heather Macy is this season’s C-USA Coach of the Year.
During a phone interview later in the afternoon, Macy deflected the credit, calling the honor a “program award” and crediting her players for a successful regular season.
After going 12-19 last season, this year’s Pirate squad is 21-8 and the No. 2 seed for the Conference USA tourney.
Macy is in her third season as ECU’s coach. Her first two teams went a combined 14-18 in Conference USA, but this team didn’t lose a league game at home en route to a 11-5 conference mark.
“I’m very blessed to get to come to work every day with the group of kids I have here,” said Macy, whose team was predicted during the preseason to finish 11th in the league. “They believe in the program, they believe in me and they believe in East Carolina.”
This marks the first time East Carolina has won the C-USA coaching award. It is Macy’s fourth-career coach of the year honor.
In addition to Macy’s award, ECU junior Kristine Mial was chosen as the league’s Sixth Player of the Year. She is averaging 9.3 points and 3.2 rebounds per game.
Mial has scored in double figures six times this campaign.
SMU junior guard Keena Mays was picked as the C-USA Player of the Year.
Macy said some of this season’s success can be traced back to what her team endured during the 2011-12 campaign.
The Pirates lost 14 straight games in a streak that lasted nearly two months. Eight of the losses were Conference USA setbacks.
“We went through so much adversity, but when you look back at it, we didn’t have one player leave the program,” said Macy, who went 75-19 during three seasons at Francis Marion before coming to ECU prior to the 2009-10 season. “I think that says that the losing streak, as much as you never want to lose, I think it taught us a lot. It made a lot of our kids grow up really quickly, having to go through that.”
Contact Ronnie Woodward at firstname.lastname@example.org, 252-329-9592 or follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.
via The Daily Reflector.