By Collin Welker
Both of Trevecca’s basketball coaches have made school history this year.
Sam Harris, the men’s basketball coach, has now won 326 games as Trevecca coach. Gary Van Atta, the women’s basketball coach, passed the 600 win mark in January and now has 190 wins at Trevecca under his belt.
“There is not a win that really pops in my head. We have beaten ranked opponents before,” said Harris.
Chris Elliot, junior shooting guard on the men’s team, said playing for Harris means being pushed to be the best on and off the court.
“He’s a good guy, leads by Christ, and pushes us to be better athletes on the court and better people off the court,” said Elliot. “It is really cool knowing you are a part of history when you leave here.”
Paige Baugher, a junior guard that plays for Van Atta, immediately bought into him as a coach when she came on her visit to campus.
“I like his enthusiasm and passion for the game. He’s a great recruiter. I like the feeling of being here for his milestone accomplishment,” said Bougher.
Both coaches look for their teams to play a certain style of basketball.
“He wants us to play fundamentally sound basketball. He believes that is what will give us the best success,” said Elliot.
Van Atta stresses defense.
“If you watch Coach Van Atta’s teams play, you will see a great defensive team. He believes that defense win championships,” said Bougher.
Van Atta never singles out the great players that he has had the privilege to coach.
“It is like picking your favorite child. I coached girls in high school that played for Tennessee and Alabama and I have coached girls at Trevecca that are All-Americans. One of the best teams I have coached is the 1987 girls high school team that went 34-0. That was a special year. The two girl’s teams that won the GMAC regular season championship are also part of the special teams that I have coached,” said Van Atta.
Both coaches expect players to be full members of the Trevecca community.
“Coach Van Atta expects us to go to chapel and do well in the classroom. That’s it,” said Bougher.
The men’s basketball teams currently has a record of 9-12 and the women’s basketball team has a record of 12-9. Both teams are scheduled to play Davis and Elkins College Feb. 19.