SE: Coggins Back Home Again

Claire Coggins

Dec. 12, 2012

The following story appeared in the K-State Sports Extra on Dec. 12, 2012

By Mark Janssen

Claire Coggins is “back home” at Kansas State

Those are her words, “It’s so good to be back home. It’s just awesome. I’m so happy to be back.”

A native of Lee’s Summit, Mo., Coggins first came to Deb Patterson’s K-State women’s basketball program in 2003-2004. By the time her playing career was over at the close of the 2006-07 season, she had tallied 1,236 career points, 17th in Wildcat history, and had been a part of teams that won 25, 24, 24 and 19 games.

Oh yes, there was also the Big 12 title won in 2004, and the WNIT championship earned in 2006.

But instead of any specific personal basket, or single victory, Coggins said, “What I’ve missed most is just being in Bramlage Coliseum. Playing in Bramlage was so very special with the fans and the smell of the stadium. I walk through the tunnel, and I remember the smell; I enter the stadium, and I remember the smell.”

She then repeated, “This is just awesome to be back home.”

Coggins is taking the place of another former Wildcat player in Marlies Gipson as video coordinator for Deb Patterson’s women’s basketball program.

She’s coming from the 2011-12 coaching high of being on the staff of Oklahoma City University, which won the NAIA national championship a year ago.

“When I left K-State I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life,” said Coggins. “I just knew I wanted to be in basketball. The Division I level was always my goal, and Kansas State was that dream job, but how often do those ultimate dream jobs come true?”

Since graduation, Coggins had a brief stay in the WNBA with the Chicago Sky, played a season in Greece, and was an assistant at Connors State Community College in Oklahoma before advancing to Oklahoma City University.

While not allowed to be an on-the-floor coach in her present position with the Wildcats, Coggins will be court side to film each session and be a part of staff scouting reports.

“Coach P (Patterson) is very good about including everyone,” said Coggins. “She cares about your input.”

And, Coggins cares about her former coach, and now boss.

“You respect her as a player, but you respect her in a different way as an adult,” said Coggins. “As a player you do what your coach says … A, B, C. But the more I’m around her as an adult the more that I appreciate her as that total person and the influence she has on your life.”

Overall Coggins adds, “I’m a Wildcat through and through. I wake up every day and I’m just ecstatic. I’m so joyful being in purple every day.”

The hiring of Coggins continues a Patterson tradition of giving opportunities to her former players.

Shalee Lehning (2009 graduate) is an assistant coach, Danielle Zanotti (2009) is the Director of Team Operations and Tasha Dickey (2011) is a graduate assistant, to go along with Kelly Moylan (1994) who played for the Wildcats prior to Patterson’s arrival.

“Some very special individuals have come through our program,” said Patterson. “It’s nice to have them continue in the program. They understand the philosophies and the work ethic we have in the program, and they remain a part of a program that was very meaningful to them as players.”

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