Q&A: Katie Hensle
June 5, 2012
Texas Tech's newest assistant coach, Katie Hensle, talks to TexasTech.com about her move to West Texas from Dallas-Fort Worth and into the NCAA Division I level from high school.
How did your communication with Coach Curry first begin?
"I met coach Curry through the recruiting process when she first came to Texas Tech from Purdue. She immediately separated herself in my mind from so many others because of her success as a coach and the way she cares about her kids and everyone she deals with. I have worked her camps and she has continued to recruit many of my players over her time at Texas Tech."
Why do you believe Texas Tech is the next place for you as a coach and what made this opportunity so special?
"The opportunity to come to Texas Tech is special because of the people and the school. I believe in coach Curry and am so excited about the opportunity to work for her. She has proven to be a winner on the court and I have gotten to know her as a person and I believe that is what sets her apart. I believe that this is a special school and a special program with a rich history. I grew up a Lady Raider fan. Although I have had other division one opportunities over the last few years, I have only wanted to make the jump if it was the right fit for myself as a coach and my family. The opportunity to work with this staff and be in such a great community is what made this opportunity so different."
You will have a number of duties including working with the guards and recruiting-talk about that a little bit.
"I have had the opportunity in the past to help develop guards into players who can represent their country on the US National Team and come in and start as freshmen in the BIG 12 and other major conferences. Teaching guards to be successful is not just about their physical abilities, although that is important, but all the tools in the world won't help a player if she doesn't know when and how to use them. Working with and developing guards is equal parts physical and mental. The greatest joy as a coach is working with a player over time and seeing that success translate into wins for their program. I am excited to work with the talented returning backcourt and the great young players the coaching staff signed this past November.
"As far as recruiting I have been on the other side of recruiting for over 13 years with some very highly recruited players. I have watched first hand what have been the major factors in their decisions of where to go to school. I have been on visits and to camps all over the country. I have seen what leads a teenager and their parents to make a decision. I love to be in the gym and watch young talent. Even as a summer coach you could always find me in the gym watching games and looking for players to enhance our team. Now I can do that for Texas Tech and help bring them to a program I feel so strongly about."
You've had the opportunity to work with and coach some elite players, how has that prepared you for coaching at the collegiate level?
"A player who is talented enough to play at and be recruited by Texas Tech already has many of the physical and mental tools that make a player elite, or they would not be here. Like my players in the past who have been on all-American watch lists, or invited to the USA trials; I have learned it is little things that take a player from great to elite. These little things help them make the team and stand out from the best in the country. It is the attention to detail on both ends of the floor that will make them successful. It is helping to instill a work ethic and a competitive instinct that will help them to have the confidence they need down the stretch of a close game. Every player is different. Players have different buttons to push and have different things that drive them. As a coach it has been, and will continue to be, my job to find what pushes each of them and helps them reach their maximum potential."
You get to be reunited with some young players you are very familiar with-Minta Spears, Jackie Patterson- how special will that be for you?
"As I said before, the greatest joy as a coach is working with young people and watching that work grow into success on the court and in their personal lives. Both Jackie and Minta were kids I coached for multiple years and traveled the country with; working with them on the court as they became elite players and watching them develop from kids into young ladies ready to take on college. Helping them through the recruiting process and watching their excitement as multiple Big 12 offers came in, and seeing the joy they felt in selecting Texas Tech was a great experience, as it was with all my players over the years who reached their dreams. By coming to Texas Tech I now have the opportunity to continue to help them develop and see first hand years of hard work pay off. These are not just two talented players but amazing people. I have big hopes for the things they will both do here at Texas Tech."
What are your expectations for yourself and what impact do you hope to have with the Texas Tech women's basketball program?
"I expect to be the hardest worker in anything I do, I will never be out worked. I expect to be a constant learner who is always improving my knowledge of the game. I expect to be involved in the continued success in recruiting, and in developing players; which together leads to winning games. None of these things happen without preparation and hours in the gym. This is already a strong staff with a great leader and I expect to add my experiences to help continue that. I am a firm believer in Proverbs 23:7 "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he." I have tried to bring that mentality to every program, both summer and high school, that I have been with."