Cabrini alumni assisting in athletics

By Kelly Bush
March 22, 2017

Photo by Hope Daluisio
They say experience makes for the best teacher, and here at Cabrini, alumni with experience in the athletic program are welcomed back to share those experiences with the next crop of athletes. Cabrini offers 19 athletic avenues to its students, with many of these teams having multiple assistant coaching positions filled by alumni.
One team that constantly offers coaching experience to alumni is the basketball team. Coach Tim McDonald has coached at Cabrini for three years as head coach after previously being an assistant coach for four years. McDonald says his best experience with alumni assistant coaches is seeing them show the players what he has shown them.
“They went through it, they learned different things from us and are passing on that information to the younger guys,” McDonald said.
One of the basketball team assistant coaches is alumnus Johnathan Miller. Miller had been playing basketball since he was six years old. From the age of five, Miller used to go to the park and watch his older brother play
“The whole time I wanted to be better than him,” Miller said. Miller played for Cabrini for four years and graduated in 2014. He decided to come back and coach to help guide others in the right direction as it was done for him. Miller was previously coached by McDonald in high school and he definitely thinks he matured a lot.
“It’s a good learning experience for him too, it is funny to see how he has grown,” McDonald said.
 Miller finds it can be difficult to guide someone to be successful but make sure his teams knows “always go 110 percent because when you think that you’re going 100 percent you can always give a little more,” Miller said.
Women’s and men’s soccer also have alumni coaches as well. Sammy Thompson graduated in 2012 and has coached women’s soccer for five years. Thompson decided to come back and coach for Cabrini because she loves it and it was just a no-brainer to come back.
“Sammy always brightens up the teams day, whether it’s at practice or a game,” sophomore Payton Green said.
Outside of Cabrini, Thompson coaches U-14 girls in Radnor, 1:1 training and soccer summer camps. Thompson is also in her first season as head coach of the women’s softball team here at Cabrini, where she plans to lead her team under the Cabrini mission “lead with purpose.” Thompson took on the team after former Coach Mitch Kline lost his battle with cancer this past Sept. 16. She feels as though the team has definitely changed since she played.

“I was excited and honored to be considered after him… our season is dedicated to Mitch,” Thompson said.

Cabrini has one of the most advanced buildings in its conference and that influences alumni like John and Sammy to come back.
“They are very familiar with how things work within our program… they are able to communicate with what we want within the program,” McDonald said.

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Kelly Bush

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