Following her older brother’s footsteps, Abbie Tepe, graduate assistant for the women’s basketball team, got involved in basketball as early as the third grade.
“I was really young when I started playing basketball. My older brother played so I did what he did,” said Tepe.
Growing up in Cincinnati, Tepe was inspired by her high school coach Scott Rogers.
“He made basketball really fun and he was very successful. He coached at Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame High School and they won a couple of state championships. He made the game fun! And that’s what basketball is about,” said Tepe.
Tepe moved from Cincinnati to attend NSU, where she was a member of the women’s basketball team all four years. After graduating, the head coach of the women’s basketball team offered her to become part of the coaching staff.
“I volunteered here for the first year and then became a graduate assistant. This is my fourth year coaching,” said Tepe.
Becoming a graduate assistant on the coaching staff wasn’t just a transient opportunity for Tepe. She always wanted to coach and explore the bigger picture of the game. Going from a student athlete to staff member was a transforming transition for Tepe.
“Getting started was really fun and becoming part of the coaching staff was a whole different experience,” said Tepe.
It didn’t take long beyond the first day for Tepe to realize the vast difference between being a player on the court and being a coach. She figured out that a coach’s responsibilities aren’t limited to the walls of the court.
“As players, we only think of school and basketball practice and games, but we don’t necessarily think of all the work the coaches are doing behind the scenes when they’re in the office,” said Tepe. “When I first started, we would be in the office 13 hours a day doing work from the beginning to the end. Players oversee all of this work.”
Attitude is number one in every sport, especially basketball. Tepe believes that good attitude correlates so much with the aptness of the players to take in information.
Attitude and inspiration go hand in hand. As a player, Tepe got her inspiration from her coaches, and as a coach it is the competition that motivates her.
“From making game plans to challenging the players everyday, it is just hard for the coaches. Our season is very long, so we have to work hard to make sure that we’re not doing the same thing every day and to keep the girls motivated,” said Tepe.
Building a strong relationship with players is very important to coaches. For Tepe, this is no hard task as she’s closer to them since she’s been in their shoes not too long ago.
“This year we did something pretty fun. It was a pre-season retreat with the team because we decided that it was pretty important for everybody to have really good relationships,” said Tepe.
The importance of all these qualities is evident when recruiting players. Basketball is usually associated with height, but that’s not necessarily the case with the girl’s basketball team.
“The qualities we look for are not just confined to height. We like to see their attitude on the court and how they react to certain situations and how well they read the game. But attitude is very important to us. We like to see how they interact with their teammates, and also how they interact with the opposing team and coaches,” said Tepe.
Tepe hopes to continue her career somewhere in athletics, either coaching or academics.
“NSU has really helped me get to where I am now from being a student athlete.
When I told my dad that I was going for my master’s degree, he was actually pretty shocked because I don’t like school very much. This opportunity helped me make this decision,” said Tepe.
Tepe’s favorite part about coaching is witnessing the athletes’ success. It’s also interesting for her to see the team change and progress each year. When Tepe first started coaching, she was coaching some of her old teammates.
“It’s very interesting that there’s only one player left on our roster who I played with: Jasmine Wilkins,” said Tepe.
Outside of school and coaching, Tepe is a very active person. She enjoys golfing and going to the beach as well as traveling.
“I like going to concerts and watching movies. I attend lots of sporting events,” said Tepe.