Jane Albright enters her fifth season as the coach of the Nevada women’s basketball team. A 25+ year coaching veteran, Coach Albright is the winningest all-time women’s basketball coach at both Wisconsin and Northern Illinois and ranks 31st in wins among all active Division I coaches. More importantly, she is known for her strong faith and unwavering commitment to her student-athletes.
1. When you were first starting out, what did a coaching mentor teach you that continues to impact your coaching today?
When I was starting out, Kay Yow spoke to me about the tyranny of the urgent. She explained the importance of understanding the difference between the urgent and the important. She encouraged me not to make decisions or run my program under the tyranny of the urgent, but to know my principles and to let them govern my decisions so that my values and things I deem important would never suffer from the urgent.
Another coach told me not to go after parrots with cannons—had to think about that one for a long time—I’ll let you figure it out!
2. Some say you haven’t been a coach until you’ve been fired. You’ve had that experience. What did you learn and how has it made you a better coach?
I was fired at Wichita State because my “team was not excellent”. When I interviewed for the job I have now, the athletic director told me that “some jobs are just not good fits”. It didn’t bother her at all.
3. What do you know now that you wish you knew early in your career?
I understand now that wins and losses do not define me as a coach, thoough I will always strive to win. For a long time, my identity was in how my coaching went, and that is just such a lie. Now I know who I am and why I do things. Like pickling, it took awhile…