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Masters In Coaching Episode XXV: Women’s Basketball Coach Cori Close

Coach's Playbook

Posted on 6/24/2021 by Petros and Money, Tim Cates


Cori Close, Women’s Basketball Coach, UCLA


She's the head coach of one of the nation's top Division One women's basketball programs. She's also a coach with Team USA basketball. She is Cori Close.

Show Highlights

  • She coached at Westwood College for 10 seasons, has accumulated 215 wins, and has made six appearances at NCAA tournaments
  • How the team’s leadership, resiliency, and character helped them succeed despite immigration issues due to the pandemic
  • How they played most of the season with only 7 players, one of which was a high school early admit
  • We can do hard things
  • What she expects from future teams after a life-changing and program-sustaining year 
  • The challenge put forward to her team - can you match character, can you match chemistry, can you match growth
  • How her determined attitude on the court got her to where she is today
  • How the way she played is reflected in her coaching
  • Her father was a high school teacher and coach at Milpitas High School in the Bay Area
  • How she started coaching with former UCLA women’s basketball, Coach Kathy Olivier, at UCLA right out of college
  • She worked with Steve Lavin, who later introduced her to John Wooden, which marked the start of a 15-year mentorship relationship with Coach Wooden
  • Insight into the wisdom she learned during her mentorship with Coach Wooden
  • Never think of yourself more highly than you ought
  • Why she decided to play basketball instead of soccer in college
  • Why the sky’s the limit in terms of how much women’s basketball can grow
  • Women’s basketball doesn’t want to be a cause, or a charity, we want to be a product and an asset that’s worth investing in
  • Why she stays connected with UCLA basketball Alumni like Kevin Love, Ryan Hollins, Earl Watson, Lindsey Pluimer, Michelle Greco, and Jrue Holiday
  • Why she started the twitter hashtag #carrideswithcori
  • The average DI basketball player spends over 3500 hours in their sport over four years, and only 4% of those are in games
  • How she’s giving back to the coaching profession
  • She’s coaching the U19 Team USA women’s basketball team during the summer of 2021

Tags: Masters in Coaching, Basketball, Coaching, Alumni, MCAA Podcast, NCAA, Olympics, Team USA

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