In her role as University of Scranton women’s basketball assistant coach, Taylor (Greene) Coleman often delves deep into analyzing an opponent, breaking down film by offensive sets and personnel and walking the Lady Royals through the tendencies in on-court demonstrations.
“We kind of adjusted how much film we do throughout the year to see what worked best and took (the players’) feedback,” Coleman said. “ … They really started liking it when we got more specific, especially when we got into conference play. We would show the personnel, then we’d assign players to be our opponents, so we could start practicing and playing them a certain way that was scout-related.
“The visual part helps, then walking through it helps. It’s a building process.”
It’s also one that sometimes can be conquered from the coaching end by devoting additional time and effort.
“If that’s going to help us win, I’ll put in all the time needed,” Coleman said.
In a different role coaching with Gerry Rose, leading one of two JB Hoops HS National teams in the spring and summer, time is often the enemy.
Going from opponent to opponent in a tournament or showcase setting on one weekend means adjusting quickly for both coaches and players.
After coaching two previous weekend events, Coleman got her first taste of an AAU tournament when her JB Hoops team – made up of players ranging from 11th to eighth grade – went undefeated and won its division at Electric City Madness last weekend at Backcourt Hoops in Scranton.
Rose had seen the championship game opponent use a run-and-jump pressure approach within its changing defensive looks.
The coaches and players talked about making some adjustments to the offensive sets they have worked on early in the season.
“Once they started trapping, we just used some timeouts to make adjustments,” Coleman said. “The girls did great.
“I told them, ‘you guys were super impressive with what you were able to pick up and execute’.”
Coleman has been impressive herself early in her coaching career.
In March, following the conclusion of a 28-2 season and NCAA Division III Sweet 16 appearance in her first season as a Scranton assistant, Coleman received word that she had been named as one of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Thirty Under 30 honorees.
The Thirty Under 30 program, sponsored by Marriott Rewards®, was created to recognize 30 up-and-coming women’s basketball coaches age 30 and under at all levels of the game. According to a press release about the award, “each honoree has exemplified their involvement in community service, mentorship, professional manner and professional association involvement.”
Scranton won the Landmark Conference title and Coleman went to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year. She made it as an assistant at DeSales in 2017.
Before spending two years at DeSales, Coleman was an assistant at Susquehanna Univesity 2013-15. She became a coach after winning two MAC Freedom Conference titles as a player at DeSales where she served as team captain in her senior season.
“The WBCA is pleased to recognize up-and-coming talent in our coaching family,” WBCA executive director Danielle Donehew said in the release announcing the honorees. “The 30 coaches who have been named to receive the Thirty Under 30 Award are deserving of this recognition, and the WBCA congratulates them for distinguishing themselves early in their careers.
“These coaches have demonstrated eagerness, effectiveness, loyalty, love of the game, and a commitment to the student-athlete. We celebrate their effort on the basketball court as teachers and equally applaud the extensive role they play in impacting the lives of their student-athletes.”
Establishing herself early is nothing new for Coleman, who entered DeSales with the hope of getting into coaching. She earned her bachelors degree in sports management and holds a master’s degree in Instruction Technology of Education, K-12, both from DeSales.
As a freshman playing on the high school varsity team, Coleman found herself sidelined with a concussion. She used that time to begin dissecting the game, sparking the interest in coaching.
“It put me out for a good four weeks until the end of the season,” she said. “Just being on the sideline, … I just naturally saw a coaching voice started to come out, even as a freshman.
“I just started to excel as a leader. Once I started searching colleges and what I wanted to do, I found sports management and I thought ‘well this could be a path that would lead me right into coaching’. It just naturally developed through the years.”
Coleman plans to pursue her career as a college coach, but enjoys her AAU time and has coached kids as young as 6 in camp settings.
“Coaching kids is something I love,” she said. “Teaching them new skills, I love seeing it when it clicks and they do it in the game.”
Coleman’s leadership has shown through in many ways. She was part of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) while a student-athlete at DeSales where she was the MAC Sportsmanship Award recipient in 2013.
“I was very surprised and I’m extremely humbled and honored,” Coleman said after receiving the coaching award. “I’m happy to represent Division III.
“The list was mostly filled with D-Is and there were some very strong, competitive D-II programs.”
The Scranton program has helped Coleman find her own success.
“I never would have received this award without working with (head) coach (Trevor) Woodruff and coach (Canio) Cianci,” she said. “And, the girls have made my job so easy.”