Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

May 6, 2014

Rowan tabs Douglas as new girls coach

MOREHEAD — As new coaches go, Elaine Douglas knows what she’s getting into.

Douglas was introduced Monday as Rowan County’s new girls basketball coach. It’s Douglas’s first head coaching job in the area, but she was an assistant to former Lady Vikings coach Jen Williams two seasons ago.

She also coached against Rowan County and two of its 61st District opponents during a five-season tenure at St. Patrick from 2007 to 2012.

“After coaching 15, 16, 17 years, Rowan County was always considered very good with all their athletics, and I know at St. Patrick, it was always a big season for us if we could beat Rowan County,” Douglas said Monday. “So I’m very pleased to be able to step into a position like this and have the opportunity to coach at a good school like that.”

The Lady Saints posted a 78-59 record under Douglas, winning the 10th Region All “A” Classic in 2011 and the 39th District Tournament in 2009 — no minor feats considering St. Patrick has the 16th-smallest enrollment among KHSAA-participating schools, according to KHSAA records.

By those standards, Rowan County seems positively gigantic.

“It’s a larger school than St. Patrick was, but the kids are just as aggressive and eager to learn,” Douglas said of her new charges. “I think it’ll be very comparable, other than that the school’s a lot larger, so we’ll have a few more kids to pick from. The competition in the 16th Region is very exciting. It’s as good as your 10th Region competition.”

Douglas’s St. Patrick teams went 1-2 against Rowan County (beating the Lady Vikings’ 2010 state Final Four club), 3-0 against Bath County and 3-3 against Fleming County.

“(Panthers coach) Kristy Orem and I go back a long way as far as coaching against each other,” Douglas said. “I’m looking forward to that part of it again, because Fleming County is highly competitive with whoever they play and well-coached.”

Douglas resigned in Maysville after the 2011-2012 season and served the next year under Williams, when the Lady Vikings went 15-15. She then took the head coaching position this past winter at Eastern Brown (Ohio), which battled inexperience and injuries in a two-win season.

Nevertheless, Douglas said she gained a greater appreciation for patience during that campaign.

“It was a rebuilding year to begin with, and then I had six injuries on top of it and lost starters, so it really was very humbling,” Douglas said. “When you only win two games, I’ve never done that in my life, but the kids played really hard. They gave it everything they had, I just didn’t have any varsity experience.

“I guess one big thing I found out was, it wasn’t all about winning, because the kids worked really hard. They didn’t give up, and we didn’t win games, but yet it was a winning season for us in a way because a lot of kids grew a lot and realized it wasn’t all about winning.”

Douglas is also active as a coach on the AAU circuit. She lives in Maysville and works part-time as a paramedic with Rowan County EMS.

ZACK KLEMME can be reached at zklemme@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2658.

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