Head Womens Basketball Coach Ginny Boggess sat down with Eddy Occhipinti, Associate Athletic Director for Marketing & Sponsorships, to discuss her team entering the new season, on Tuesday, Oct 26.
“Time is flying,” Boggess said. “It’s been an absolute blast those first couple weeks. Getting to know the team before they went home, completing my staff and then hitting the road recruiting.”
Occhipinti recited a frequently used word from Boggess’ first press conference, “vision.” He asked Boggess her idea of the team’s vision going forward.
“[Our vision] is to create a team and put a product on the court that is tough, disciplined and really embraces our pace of play,” Boggess said. “We talk a lot about our culture, which is kind of encompassed in an acronym that we created as a staff.”
The acronym N-E-S-T stands for navigate, energize, sharpen, and trust. “Those are the things that we talk about every day as we build our culture. How we want to live, how we want to operate on this campus and in this community. Ultimately, I believe that means success on the court.”
Boggess then shared her perspective on community, both on campus and in the surrounding county area.
“It’s our job as staff to share Monmouth and everything that it can offer to these young women beyond basketball,” Boggess said. “It’s also our job to bring in women that will promote our community and make Monmouth better on the court. We want to empower these women, lift them up, give them opportunities at this university and in this community to grow and be leaders for life.”
Boggess often uses the phrase “trust,” Occhipinti explained. She was asked how that idea has developed throughout her time as a player and coach.
“[With] the elite teams, the best teams in the world, you can just see that they trust each other on and off the court,” Boggess said. “Building that camaraderie and building trust with our team was my number one priority. Getting to know them and their mission, their vision, and their principles for themselves.”
The concept of “beyond basketball” is talked about frequently by Boggess, she explained, as people often ask about her life plans when the ball stops bouncing.
“We spent a lot of time off the court, whether it be doing a Navy Seals Day down at the shore with Bri Rubino, our incredible strength coach, or at my house playing spike ball,” Boggess said.
“Getting to know one another’s families and our visions for the future allows an open door to coach them hard and love them even harder. Trust is the foundation, and without it, the team can not move forward, Boggess explained.
“We tried to establish that early on,” Boggess said. “The players are learning to trust one another again, [it comes down to] who’s going to show up every day, who’s going to give their best, who’s going to lift each other up and we’re well on our way in that journey.”
Boggess is most proud of the team’s confidence they carry both on the court and around campus.
“Those are the biggest compliments that I get,” Boggess said. “Whether it be from the front staff here at the arena, professors, or faculty, [they notice] the women are happier and they’re having fun,” Boggess said.
Other coaches have been supportive of the team, noticing the rise in both happiness and competitive nature, Boggess said. King Rice, coach of the Men’s Basketball team, always checks in on the women’s team and gives many compliments on the their willingness to “get after it.”
“That’s a huge compliment,” Boggess said. “I don’t have that comparison from the previous season.”
The team’s competitiveness is starting to grow, Boggess said. “Building that trust off the court, having conversations about expectations, and really laying the foundation has allowed them to just play their game and do what they do.”
Occhipinti asked Boggess if she put any stock into MAC preseason polls, or any other scout evaluation of the program prior to beginning the season.
“I’ve been doing this for a long time,” Boggess said. “I’ve been on teams picked last and I’ve been on teams picked first. It’s a nod to the success of the teams at the top, and that’s deserved, but it really doesn’t mean anything and I hope that it’s motivation for our team in the locker room. I hope it’s a conversation they’re having. Our expectations are higher than where we were chosen and that we’re better than where we were picked, now we’ve got to go out and prove it every night.”
Occhipinti then asked Boggess why she is a perfect fit when it comes to her first head coaching job at Monmouth.
“We have elite facilities here, incredible leadership in our President and our new Athletic Director, and we have champions that I get to pass every day in the hallway,” Boggess said. “My peers make me better every day and we have a history of success. Couple that with a very high level education, intimate class sizes for our women and majors that are attractive to them and they can succeed in. The sky’s the limit really for Monmouth.”