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‘Whirlwind’ Adjustment

Coach Joanne Boyle talks about building the women’s program

Joanne Boyle

Joanne Boyle has been on the job for only a few months, but she’s already logged many miles on the recruiting trail as the new women’s basketball head coach. She takes over for Hall of Fame coach Debbie Ryan (Educ ‘77), who resigned in March. Boyle comes to UVA from the University of California, Berkeley, where she compiled a 137-64 record with six winning seasons that included an NCAA Sweet 16 berth and a WNIT tournament championship. Recently, she discussed her new job and the Cavaliers’ roster.

What has the adjustment been like, being back on the East Coast and taking over your third new program?

Everything has been good. It’s been a whirlwind tour. Everybody has been really welcoming, the girls have been great—they’ve really embraced us. I can’t believe I’ve been here five months. It’s been about getting out there, building the program and getting our face recognized.

While you have Chelsea Shine and Simone Egwu, you don’t have a lot of traditional post players. Where will the rebounding come from?

Our leading rebounder had four to five boards a game (Egwu with 5.2). It should be eight or nine. We need to find three or four people who can average seven or eight a game. I’ve always believed that guards have to be great rebounders, too. It has to come from a lot of different people.

Guard-wise, you’ve got some options with Ataira Franklin, Ariana Moorer and China Crosby, not to mention a scrappy presence like Lexie Gerson.

Does having players with different styles in the backcourt help as you transition?

We’ve only had them in individual workouts, but they all bring something different to the table. They all bring athleticism. For the entire season, we have five guards (with Kelsey Wolfe also back), so you have to be smart about how you play them.