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Georgetown College has tabbed women's basketball associate head coach Andrea McCloskey the next Tiger head coach at the start of the 2011-12 season.
"Obviously, replacing someone like Susan (Johnson) is a big task, but I think that Andrea is more than up to the challenge," said Director of Athletics Eric Ward. "I have watched her serve as Susan's assistant and associate head coach for the past five years, and she has done a fantastic job. She has been able to successfully balance the conflicting roles of being a friend to the players while also being a disciplinarian, which is quite difficult."
The 31-year-old from New Carlisle, Ohio native has been dreaming about this for a long time.
"I used to watch Bobby Knight coaching Indiana University growing up, and I always said I wanted to play in college and be a coach," McCloskey said. "I was in fourth grade then, so this is definitely a life-long dream come true."
However, McCloskey did not simply sit around and dream for it to happen, she has been out making the best of every opportunity.
"I'm really excited for Andrea," Johnson said. "I know this has been her dream and she has been working really hard on building up to this moment. I have total confidence in her."
Upon graduating from Tecumseh High School, McCloskey went to University of Rio Grande on a basketball scholarship. She was a staple on the RedStorm team, serving as captain her junior and senior seasons. Following receiving her bachelor of science in sports and exercise science, McCloskey stayed on at Rio to work on her masters and serve as a graduate assistant.
"Coach (David) Smalley is one of my mentors and what he let me do really prepared me so much more to be taking over as a head coach at 31," McCloskey said. "I wasn't just in charge of tape exchange and office stuff, I was the head junior varsity coach. I got to get out on the floor and really coach a team there."
Now she will have a chance every season to coach against Smalley, as Rio joined the Mid-South Conference in 2009.
She followed her time on the sidelines with the RedStorm with a year at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio, before coming to Georgetown.
"I wanted to coach and take every opportunity to experience all that I could to make me a more well-rounded coach," McCloskey said. "I knew coming here would be a great advancement in my process. I had never played for or coached with a female, so just in that aspect I knew I would learn a lot. Then I also knew of Coach (Susan) Johnson's success and wanted to learn under her."
Johnson's belief in her young assistant made it easy to stay year-in and year-out despite many offers coming in to try and lure her away from the Tigers' sideline.
"She had the confidence in me that I could be a head coach, and I felt I owed my loyalty to Georgetown and this program," McCloskey said.
In her five years, Georgetown is 64-49 overall and 23-20 in the Mid-South Conference, giving her winning percentages of .566 and .535.
"Her basketball knowledge is exceptional, she has great "people" skills, and she has a NAIA background," Ward said. "All of these qualities make her a great fit for Georgetown College and the right person to lead our women's basketball program."
McCloskey is excited about bringing a fresh eye and system to the Tigers, mixing a bit from all her coaching experiences. But, there is also something to be said about being familiar with all things here and in the MSC.
"I'm excited to try some new things and all that I have planned won't be unveiled next year, I know it will be a process, but it's exciting to bring this fresh look no one has seen yet," McCloskey said. "But, I do see it as a bonus that I've been here; I know the conference, so this isn't a completely fresh start."