Kayla Springer | Echo
The Taylor women's basketball team will operate under the leadership of interim head coach Becca Bornhorst for the remainder of the 2016-17 season, as announced on Tuesday by Athletic Director Kyle Gould.
Bornhorst's position was announced following four-year head coach Kelly Packard's requested leave of absence last week.
Bornhorst is in her second year with the Trojans but has already led the team to two wins in three contests as interim head coach.
Bornhorst cited the players' attitudes as her favorite part of coaching at Taylor.
"I absolutely love the girls in this program," Bornhorst said. "They're really special people (who) care about each other and this place. They're passionate for Jesus and for the game of basketball, and that makes it a joy to come to work every day."
Gould commented that the expectations for Bornhorst as a head coach will be both similar and different to those of Packard.
Gould believes that Bornhorst will be able to manage the day-to-day operations well, despite not having a significant amount of experience.
"There's not necessarily the expectation of her to have the same experiences (as Packard)," Gould said. "The assistant coaches will be there to support (Bornhorst), and our hope is that the outcomes will continue to be successful."
While she may be new to her position, Bornhorst is not new to the basketball court. She was a four-year letterwinner with the women's basketball team at Butler University, where she also served as a team captain.
Aside from her own basketball experiences, Bornhorst feels that her position as assistant coach last season helped prepare her for the transition this year.
"Coach Packard really took me under her wing when she hired me," Bornhorst said. "Getting to watch her every day last year was a great example for me to follow. She didn't micromanage me, but she trusted me with a lot from the beginning. Being able to coach and lead drills and have an input in game planning last year is really helping me now."
Gould is also confident in Bornhorst's abilities as a first-time head coach. Bornhorst grew up learning from her father, a successful coach in his own right, which has prepared her for her new role.
The team has had a winning start to the season so far, holding an overall 5-4 record and an undefeated stance in conference play. With that in mind, Bornhorst is not looking to change the team's system as the season progresses.
"I don't want to change a lot right now since the girls are already going through significant change," Bornhorst said. "As much as we can keep constant is good for them."
Bornhorst noted Packard always added plays throughout the year, so while some of those inclusions won't be exactly the same as in the past, it will not be an entirely new playing system for the team.
Bornhorst stated the relational side of coaching is the most important to her. She's amazed that her job description includes discipleship and that she's expected to talk about Jesus and pray with the girls.
The team and athletic department have made Bornhorst feel supported, which has given her more confidence through the transition.
"I'm super thankful for the girls and the way they've rallied together over the past week," Bornhorst said. "It has really shown a lot about who they are as young women."
Bornhorst's position was announced following four-year head coach Packard's requested leave of absence last week.
The Taylor women's basketball team will look to expand on their impressive conference start tomorrow as they take on Mount Vernon Nazarene in Odle Arena at 1 p.m.
"Photograph provided by TU Sports Information Department"