As a coach their job is to coach their players and get the most out of them. This year, Keene State College Women’s Basketball Head Coach Keith Boucher has gotten that and much more in personal accolades.
Boucher, who has lead the Owls program for 27 seasons, guided his team to a 21-4 record in the regular season and also notched his 400th career win. This season marks the first time the Owls have won 20 games or more since the 2009-2010 campaign.
Boucher’s milestone win came in a Little East Conference battle on the road against Western Connecticut State University on Feb. 13, in which Keene State defeated the Colonials 69-61. Boucher said he has never worried about the personal numbers at all during his coaching career. “It’s never been about a record. I didn’t even know that it happened, somebody from Western actually told me down there,” Boucher said.
As of Feb. 22, Boucher owns a lifetime record of 401-325. He has a chance to take on more depending on how far the Owls make it in the Little East Tournament and possibly the NCAA Tournament.
One thing that Boucher treasures during his time as a coach is the relationships he has made. “I’ve had the honor and privilege of coaching some outstanding student-athletes and working with some outstanding coaches,” Boucher said. He added, “They are a bigger part of this than I am.”
One reason why Boucher has been around so long is because of his drive. “You really have to have a love and passion for what you do, or you wouldn’t be doing it as long as I have,” Boucher said.
Junior and captain Stephanie D’Annolfo said Boucher does so much for the team as their coach. “Preparing us, pushing us through the ruts, fixing the mistakes. The least we could do is work our hardest in practice and games. I think he truly earned that big win and I’m happy we were able to get it for him,” D’Annolfo said.
Senior and captain Kelsey Cognetta said it was great being apart of this victory. “Especially being a senior my last season. I think I really wanted to be a part of it with him and on this team,” Cognetta said.
Boucher said that a coach needs to know their players. “It’s not so much about the knowledge of the game as it is about the approach to your athletes,” Boucher said.
In addition, he said they need to find out what the athlete is all about. “You have to figure out what makes each one tick. That always is not an easy thing to do,” Boucher said.
Over the course of his career, Boucher has learned the most important thing in coaching. “Sometimes you need to kick them in the butt, but most of the time you have to pat them on the back,” Boucher said.
Brian Clemmenson can be contacted email@example.com