A New School Year Calls for a New Girls Basketball Coach

Gil Rodriguez is the new head coach for the 2021-22 season.

New head coach Gil Rodriguez is hopeful toward the 2021-22 girls basketball season.

Photo G. Rodriguez

New head coach Gil Rodriguez is hopeful toward the 2021-22 girls basketball season.

Julia Guillermo, Staff Writer

The girls basketball team faced an obstacle that needed to be solved before this year’s season would begin.

Last year, the girls had a successful season with a 12-10 record and making it as far as regionals. But, Coach Jerome, last year’s head coach, left the team due to unknown reasons. This left the Assistant Principal and Athletic Director Kailyn Mormon on a sprawl to hire a new basketball coach. Luckily, for Mormon, Gil Rodriguez, a parent of one of the players was able to step up to fill the role as the new head coach.

Although a few of the players will have to adapt to the new coaching style, Rodriguez is more than excited to have this opportunity. Rodriguez has plenty of experience in the field of basketball, as he has coached girls and boys basketball at the middle school level for almost ten years. 

I am a lifelong learner and student of the game.  In my opinion, if played the right way there is not a more beautiful team sport than basketball,” Rodriguez said.

Outside of coaching basketball, Rodriguez is a pharmacy manager of a team of 27 pharmacists across the country. Being a pharmacist, Rodriguez knows more than enough about chemistry. As it ties into basketball, Rodriguez understands that in order for there to be a change amongst the team there must also be a connection between the players and the coach.

“I believe in teamwork first and foremost.  The team must have a culture that focuses on the whole instead of just a part.” he said. “My coaching will focus on building a team that the school, parents, and players will be proud of.” 

However, before Rodriguez begins to coach this year’s girls basketball team, he discussed his plans on what the recruitment process will look like for this year. Rodriguez has already held an interest meeting for the upcoming season, which was his first step in helping further the program.

“For this first year, we will look to school announcements and publications at school and most importantly word of mouth to drive recruitment. Word spreads fast when there is a positive change taking place.  Retention has been troubling in the past but if you create the right environment players will not look elsewhere.” Rodriguez said.

Although the girl’s basketball team has faced various setbacks in the past, Rodriguez hopes to turn it around. Not only is this important to him, but for the players as well, especially his daughter. Junior IB student, Isabella Rodriguez is the daughter of Gil Rodriguez. She has been playing for the Robinson girls basketball for the past two years and is looking forward to having her dad as her coach.

“I am pretty excited that he will be the basketball coach because he’s coached me in the past and I’ve always had a good experience with him as my coach,” Isabella Rodriguez said. “I think it will be something I have to get used to though since he hasn’t coached me in a while.”

Rodriguez has always been surrounded by sports, which is why basketball has become a big aspect of his life. As Rodriguez steps back into the role as head coach he discusses his coaching philosophy and what he expects from his players.

Growing up in sports I have been exposed to various coaching styles,” he said. “I have seen what has worked and what has failed miserably.  My style focuses on building confidence and empowering players.  Players will be expected to work hard and be held accountable.  I believe in learning from mistakes and growing from those experiences.” 

Rodriguez is all for winning, but his goal for this year is to instill an “I can mentality” in each individual. He is hopeful that hard work, dedication, and consistency will help build a positive team culture for this year’s girls basketball team. Rodriguez is more than ready to step on the court to help push his players towards being great athletes, but young successful women as well.