Coach Yvonne Hawkins Is Excited About The Future
June 5, 2013
Chestnut Hill, Mass. -
Associate head coach Yvonne Hawkins and current head coach Erik Johnson have been a successful coaching combination since 2006. The two worked together as assistant coaches under former Eagles coach Cathy Inglese. When Johnson took the head job at Denver in 2008, Coach Hawkins followed. The two returned to the Heights to rebuild a program they both hold near and dear to their heart.
A native of Ohio, Hawkins was an assistant coach at Yale University prior to her first stint at BC. She played basketball at Ashland University and has been in college coaching for over 28 years.
Q: What lured you back to the Heights?
A: I've always loved coaching and working at Boston College. The people here are unbelievable and the values instilled in our BC student-athletes are exactly the values I live by. I also love working with Erik Johnson and to have the opportunity to come back with him was something I didn't want to miss out on.
Q: The relationship of this staff is close-knit and on the same page. Talk a little about how the five of you have developed this family-like aura?
A: It starts with Erik and the way he treats his staff like his family. We are extremely hard-working people but we enjoy having a laugh and doing things together outside of work. It also helps that Erik gives us the opportunity to grow under his direction. We grew even closer as a staff after Erik's son Davis Johnson passed away (May, 2010). Our family is great and I love them all.
Q: How did you all gain the players trust?
A: Just by being ourselves. Erik is very understanding and he approaches things in a very positive manner. He instills confidence in our team and his staff. I think the four of us are very good listeners and work hard to make the game fun.
Q: The 2012-13 season is over - give me your assessment of the season and players?
A: I think we really made progress this season. The kids are buying into the way we teach and the confidence they gained everyday helped us finish off the season strong. We still have room for improvement and the players know it. They have welcomed the hard work it takes to be a champion.
Q: Can you remember a game during the season when you thought to yourself - this is going in the right direction?
There were a few games but I would say the Rutgers game really gave the team confidence that they could not only be in big games but win them.
Q: I know Coach Johnson is very serious about academics. I understand there is a little competition between the staff with the players' academic success. First talk about the competition and who won?
The competition is called the "Dream Team" and the honor of the name goes to the assistant coach or Director of Operations (Chris Brann) who's kids finish with the highest GPA for the semester. We really take it seriously but it's fun. You'll hear the kids spouting off their grades to each other like a badge of honor. I can't tell you who won because we all did so well this semester but I can tell you that our team was over a 3.0 GPA and that makes all of us proud.
Q: There are three incoming freshman - give us a strength of each one.
Emilee Daley: Really good shooter ... has size at the guard position ... may play a 3-4 for us.
Kelly Hughes: Exceptional three-point shooter ... can shoot it from DEEP ... Played off guard and some point guard in high school.
Kami Mickens: Exceptional on ball defender ... gets to the basket on the drive.
Both Karima and Lauren will add much-needed depth to the team. Karima is a strong inside player, who can block shots and score inside. She helps with our inside height and depth. Lauren will help with handling the ball and creating within the offense. She is also a solid on ball defender. We look forward to having both of them for the upcoming season
Q: The ACC has always been a quality conference. Now with the addition of Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Syracuse, what is your opinion of the league now?
A: I believe the ACC will be the strongest conference in the country. Adding those three only solidifies how powerful and competitive it will be. Every game will be a battle. Fans should get their season tickets now before it's too late!
Q: What does BC have to do to continue succeeding in this conference?
We have to continue recruiting strong academic and athletic players to compete against the best. Our kids have to stay hungry and bring it every night. They have to bring the fight they showed in the ACC tournament this year and we have to continue building our culture for our program.