BY: MARK WALUSIS
It’s the money, the fame, the glamour, the thrill of leading a team to a national championship. These are the things that might normally attract a coach to taking over the reins of a new team. However, this is not the case with Suzy Delaney, the new head coach of the Franciscan University of Steubenville women’s basketball team.
Delaney first came to Franciscan her junior year of college for a young adults’ conference during the summer. It was a very powerful experience for her, and with much discernment she decided to transfer from Wheeling Jesuit University where she had been playing basketball for the previous two years.
Delaney quickly fell deeper in love with Franciscan and now resides in the city of Steubenville with her husband and four (soon to be five) children. Her passion for basketball, however, began long before arriving at Franciscan.
“I’ve been around basketball almost my whole life, starting in junior high and going through high school where I first really began to take basketball seriously,” said Delaney, adding that her high school coach really inspired her to develop her skills and understanding of the game. Most importantly, Delaney noted that he stressed improving oneself as an individual through sports.
This idea of improving as an individual is what Delaney really believes sets Franciscan apart from other schools and, as a coach, she hopes to implement it even further.
“The opportunity to grow in the mind, body and spirit is really what makes this university great,” said Delaney.
Through this model, Delaney hopes to inspire the women on the team to excel in all aspects of their lives, not just athletics. She also plans to develop good relationships with the athletes and endeavors to set a positive example for them as they pursue their vocations. Delaney wants to be approachable in order to develop positive chemistry within the team.
Delaney said the opportunity to coach at Franciscan is a big honor, and that she is excited to continue building the relatively young – and newly promoted to NCAA Division III – women’s basketball program. At this level of intercollegiate sports, she recognizes the importance of working hard and solidifying the fundamentals of the game. She is happy for the athletes to have this opportunity to play Division III basketball and progress as athletes.
“Having a team that works hard, gives a consistent effort, and plays an intense game on both ends of the court is what I expect out of my girls,” said Delaney. “Teams should expect a tough game out of us.”