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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “Catching up with former W-hoops coach, player”

    Joan Bonvicini

    Editor’s Note: Former UA women’s basketball coach Joan Bonvicini, who has a career record of 612-294, is in her first year as the head coach of Seattle University. She hired ex-Wildcat player Joy Hollingsworth to be her assistant coach. The Arizona Daily Wildcat‘s senior writer Lance Madden caught up with the two new Redhawks, who discussed their new roles in the Northwest and coaching together.

    Daily Wildcat: You’ve got to be thrilled about this new job, coach Bonvicini.

    Bonvicini: I’m very happy and very excited about the situation I’m in at Seattle University.

    DW: How is the preparation for your first season there going?

    JB: This is a great, great university and I’m just thrilled to coach again and to be on the floor. I was hired late, in early August, but the good part is we’re on a quarter system here, so school doesn’t start until (Wednesday). So it gave me time to hire staff and do a lot of things. I absolutely love Seattle.

    DW: How does it work, as a coach, when you come into a school that’s new to being a Division I program?

    JB: It’s all about people. It’s about relationships. My vision is for us to be a power and to build a championship program. That’s why I came here. It’s about getting a great staff and getting the right players who believe in my vision.

    DW: How’d you get Joy on your staff?

    JB: Joy’s a great person and very dynamic. Joy and I constantly stayed in touch with each other. After Arizona, she was a pro in Greece, and then came back and got her master’s at the University of Washington in (Intercollegiate Athletics Leadership). Then she was a high school coach and did some individual training. She and I stayed in touch. She’s a Seattle native and she absolutely knows everybody. It’s a good hire for me.

    Joy Hollingsworth: I think working for coach B. is a dream come true. And Seattle University — I used to come to their basketball camps when I was little. It’s awesome being back here and learning from an incredible woman who I admire so much.

    JB: You want me to leave?

    JH: (Laughs) No, it’s OK.

    DW: Joy’s a fun person, but when it comes to X’s and O’s, is she there yet?

    JB: It’s a learning curve. With Joy, I hired Kristen O’Neill, who played for the Seattle Storm WNBA team. So, with Joy, I have two dynamic, young people. Then I hired a very experienced coach in Jamie Angeli, who was an assistant for Steve Lavin at UCLA for six years. We have a very good staff.

    JH: I think I understand the importance of fundamentals as a coach. The game has changed — it’s become faster and women are jumping higher. But I understand how important fundamentals are.

    DW: How was your pro experience, Joy?

    JH: It was short. It was from August to December. It was great sitting on the beach in the morning drinking coffee, eating Greek salad and feta cheese. Then I went off to practice, then went to bed. But I had a stress fracture in my left leg. It was extremely painful.

    DW: You’re taking the same rout of Jawann McClellan then. He also went to play pro ball in Europe, then hurt his knees and had to come back. Now he wants to coach, too.

    JH: Jawann was such a great talent. But there’s life after basketball.

    DW: Coach Bonvicini, you took a year away from coaching and worked with Sport Tours International. What were your duties there?

    JB: I was a consultant, and I helped teams go to tournaments all over the world, and I was in the Bahamas or Cancun. I worked remotely to help set up events. The other thing I did, I was a color broadcaster for Fox Sports, which was a lot of fun.

    DW: You coached at Long Beach State before you came to Arizona. Was it your intent to stay on the West coast?

    JB: I love the West coast. It was finding the right fit. I believe very deeply in the mission of this university — it’s one of educating the whole person at Seattle U. A big part of the university is giving back, which is something that I believe in. I believe in a partnership with the community. I’ve already been named to the Boys & Girls Club for all of King County.

    DW: How do you deal with the rain?

    JB: You know what? It’s beautiful here. The city of Seattle — there is so much stuff to do. There is water everywhere. Like, last weekend I was out boating on the water. It hasn’t rained a lot, and when it does, that’s the time of year I’m inside anyway. It is absolutely gorgeous here. I love it.

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