Norman hired to take over girls basketball team
Julie Norman figures her nearly 20 years of experience playing basketball will offset her inexperience as a coach.
So does Summit High School, which hired the Resort Sports Network reporter late last week to coach the girls basketball team. She takes over for Leonard Grams, who stepped down in February after seven years with the team.
Norman arrived in Summit County in October 2001 and immediately sought a position in the basketball program. She was offered an assistant job but turned it down because she thought she didn’t have the time. This was before she started working daytime hours for RSN.
When the SHS administration began seriously seeking a replacement for Grams this summer, it remembered Norman and approached her about the head job.
“I missed basketball so much, and I (wanted) to be around the game again, so I figured I’d give it a shot,” Norman said.
Norman was a four-year starter and captain in high school and at Division III St. Mary’s College in Indiana. She has coached as an assistant at the youth level but has never had full control of her own team until now.
“I have a lot to offer these girls,” she said. “I know what it’s like to play high school basketball and I know what it’s like to play college basketball. Having never been a head coach, I know I’m jumping in head first, but I’m excited about the challenge.”
Norman said she’ll draw on her experiences with the coaches she had as a player to mold her style of coaching. She will adapt a lot of the drills and philosophies she learned at St. Mary’s for the Tigers.
“I’ve had some great coaches, and I hope to pass on a lot of their coaching philosophies,” Norman said. “I have every intention of pushing these girls to their highest limit. I’m far too competitive to settle for anything less.”
Norman takes over a team that went 14-9 last year and reached the regional round of the playoffs. But Summit lost most of its starting lineup to graduation, except perhaps its best player, Dolly Fiedelman. Norman plans to be demanding of her star player and the team’s inexperienced starters.
“We’re going to play hard in practice, and every game we’re going to go out and compete,” she said. “I hope these girls are as serious and competitive as I am.”
The team will meet in October to set preseason goals for when practice begins in mid-November. By that time, Norman hopes to be recovered from ankle surgery, which she will undergo Tuesday. Not long removed from her playing days, she plans to participate – ball in hand – in most practice drills during the season.
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