The Long Beach State women’s basketball program took the opportunity to introduce the newly hired head coach Amy Wright to players, alumni, staff and the media Thursday night at the Anna W. Ngai Alumni Center.
“So why Long Beach,” Wright said. “It’s the only NCAA institution with the name beach in it, it is the only place where you get to play basketball in a pyramid and so it’s already unique. It’s already unique in itself.”
Before Wright took the podium she was introduced by both Interim Athletics Director Ted Kadowaki and LBSU President Jane Close Conoley.
“Her energy and enthusiasm are sure to be an asset to the program as she seeks to develop her players on and off the court and build a winning culture certainly on the court but also in the classroom,” Conoley said.
Wright is adopting a team that lost five key seniors and though she mentioned you don’t replace players it’ll be hard to fill that void. LBSU’s final game this season was a loss to the University of San Diego Toreros in a game where the seniors made up 132/200 minutes played and four of which were starters.
“I think we have the tools in place, obviously, there’s opportunity to bring others in. But it’s got to be the right people,” Wright said. “There’s nothing I want to do less than take away what they’ve already built as a collective unit… this is a team that’s unified.”
Former head coach Jeff Cammon had four final recruits coming to The Beach whom Wright said will all still have their offers honored.
Cammon also took the entirety of his coaching staff along with him, leaving Wright in a tough position. A new staff will need to be selected and hired after she decided to not bring along any staff from Oklahoma sticking to local options instead.
“There is a true sense of community and passion for Long Beach State athletics,” Wright said. “While Long Beach may be a mid-major school. This is a power five program with Power Five expectations that we won’t settle because we stand on the shoulders of giants.”
The conference concluded with Wright welcoming all of her players to the podium and having them introduce themselves individually to the audience.