CSUEB women’s hoops gets new leader

Louis LaVenture,

After the Cal State East Bay women’s basketball team finished their best season in school history, the unthinkable happened.

Their coach left.

Former Pioneers Head Coach Suzy Barcomb left Hayward for NCAA Division I Seattle University in April, just a month after CSUEB won its first ever California Collegiate Athletic Association Conference Championship and made a NCAA West Regionals appearance. The team finished the season 27-5 overall and 18-2 in conference, also school bests.

Earlier this month, East Bay Athletic Director Joan McDermott announced the school replaced Barcomb with a familiar face, Cal State Dominguez Hills Head Coach Molly Goodenbour. She becomes the seventh women’s basketball coach in school history after her four seasons at CSUDH, also a CCAA team.

Her experience at the top level of competition will be a huge benefit to CSUEB. Goodenbour played for legendary coach Tara Van Derveer at Stanford in the early 1990’s where she won four consecutive Pac 10 Conference championships and two national titles.

Goodenbour also played professionally with the Sacramento Monarchs of the WNBA and several other professional teams.

“At Dominguez Hills we weren’t really focused on one specific style of play,” she said. “We just tried to recruit the best players we could and adapt our style to our players.”

Barcomb relied on a half court offense that controlled the pace and tempo of the game, while Goodenbour seems open to gauging what style will best fit her players.

That adaptation will be a major factor at East Bay, which lost a slew of seniors, including four starters from last year’s record-setting squad.

The Pioneers have just seven players on their current roster, only one of whom received major playing time last year — senior forward Remy Puou. Puou started all 32 games for the Pioneers last year and averaged 6.3 points and 4.6 rebounds in 577 minutes.

“Remy is a great player and has already taken on a leadership role with this team,” Goodenbour said. “She was apprehensive after losing her coach and some of the best players. I told her she can be a focal point for us.”

McDermott expressed her confidence in Goodenbour’s ability to run the program and cited her success in the conference the past four years as a major factor.

Goodenbour led the Toros to three straight CCAA conference championships before they lost this past season to East Bay 68-53. Two years ago, Goodenbour’s Toros defeated the Pioneers three times in one season, including the conference championship game, 76-57.

“I am somewhat familiar with East Bay, but we have a whole new squad,” Goodenbour said. “If you played two minutes or 30 minutes I don’t know a lot about you. I am respectful of what [East Bay] has accomplished. We want to win another conference championship and build on the success.”

Goodenbour said the recruiting period was nearly over when she arrived; however, she was able to add a handful of new recruits to the East Bay squad, both high school and junior college players.

She also said that she met with all the returners during finals week in spring and gave them workout handbooks and instructed them on how to train during the summer while things are less team-oriented. The team will start training as a whole in August.