This upcoming season, the GU Women’s Basketball Team is welcoming a new assistant coach, Katie Nehf. Nehf hails from Broomfield, Colorado, a suburb outside of Denver. Before coming to GU, she was involved in high school coaching and then worked in the event management industry. However, she decided that she wanted to go back to coaching. When looking and applying for positions, Nehf stated that Greenville definitely caught her eye. “I liked that Greenville was integrating the faith piece into the job. My faith is an area in which I would like to grow so that I can further help my players and students.”
Following a visit in the spring, Nehf made the 900-mile trip to her new home from Colorado in early August. “My first impression of living here so far has been that Greenville is very ‘homey.’ Everyone here is always so friendly, too. People are very intentional about getting to know you and remembering things about you. The small school atmosphere makes it seem like everyone is involved and the staff really cares about students’ success. The faculty really takes notice of their students and what they need.” This, she explained, is quite a change in the atmosphere than Nehf had during her own college experience at Colorado State University-Pueblo. Here, Nehf played basketball and graduated with an undergraduate degree in Exercise Science (with an emphasis in Health Promotion and Wellness). Additionally, she has a Master’s degree in Sports Management and Athletic Administration.
Nehf shared her vision for the women’s basketball program in the upcoming season and subsequent years. “I am hoping to learn a lot from Coach Mo while bringing my own background and experience to the court. With the coaching duties that I’ve done so far, I’ve liked being able to have input when Coach has asked for it. I hope that when the season starts and we get into the flow of things, I can bring some variety to the table and help the team work towards another championship.” While Nehf says she is excited for coaching this season, she also hopes to make an impact outside of the lines of the court. “Coaching college is different than high school because you’re involved in more than just basketball. I have some of my players in my classes and I can relate to them this way – through interests and academics.”
Going from the mountains of Colorado to the fields of Greenville has been quite the transition for Nehf. However, she is not the only one to call Southern Illinois her new home. Her dog, a Great Dane named Winston, tagged along for the new adventure. Outside of basketball, she likes taking Winston on long walks and being outdoors.
As a last remark, Nehf shared her favorite quote and verse. She said that she often thinks of Jimmy Valvano’s speech from the 1993 ESPY Awards. The motto from his dedication speech to his cancer research foundation was “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.” Her favorite verse is Ephesians 2:8, which states, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.”
Around campus, you can find Coach Katie Nehf in her classes; Sports Management 101 and Senior Seminar. Be sure to catch her in action as the Women’s Assistant Basketball Coach this winter in H.J. Long Gymnasium.
Media by Justin Cross.