By RON DEUTER
IRON MOUNTAIN - Wins and losses aside, new Iron Mountain varsity girls basketball head coach Ginger Moore hopes she can share one major element from her playing days.
Theresa Proudfit/The Daily News Photo
Iron Mountain head basketball coach Ginger Moore (left) discusses strategy with her team during a camp earlier this month at Iron Mountain High School.
"I just want to see them develop a passion for the game," she said. "I want them to get the sheer enjoyment of playing. That's all I can ask for as a coach."
Moore, replacing John Hogberg, moves up to the varsity position after coaching IM's frosh last year. Last season marked a return to coaching for Moore. While never a varsity head coach, Moore previously coached at Iron Mountain for several years as high as the jayvee level before taking a few years off to raise a family. She also helped coach JV volleyball and track.
"The kids are a little older now, so I thought it'd be a good time to get back into it," Moore said of accepting the freshmen position last season."
As for the varsity job, Moore said, "I had a lot of fun last year, and one thing led to another, things kind of fell in place. I thought I want to try it. I love the sport and love working with the girls."
Moore, a former elementary teacher at Iron Mountain, says coaching gives her an opportunity to give back.
"I love the game of basketball, and I've had a lot of people help me along the way,' she said. When you have a passion for something you want to pass on that passion. It gives you joy inside to help someone else develop confidence, have success and really love to play. And the fact you can be somewhat instrumental, take a part in it, that's truly what it's all about."
Moore, who co-owns and manages Kingsford's Back In Motion Physical Therapy Clinic with her husband Chris, earned nine varsity letters in basketball, track and gymnastics at Gladstone High School in the early 1990s, earning All-U.P. honors in basketball twice. She was inducted into the Gladstone Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012.
"I had a lot of great coaches," she said, mentioning her father Mark Weber as top on the list. "We spent a lot of time in the gym. I think there is a lot I learned from him playing basketball that wasn't basketball related. My skills are a direct result of his time and effort."
Moore played collegiately at Northern Michigan under coach Mike Geary.
"At every level, I've had a strong influence," she said. "There are a lot of very important lessons that I've learned that I hope to instill in my players."
A girls basketball camp at Iron Mountain High School two weeks ago gave Moore her first glimpse of what she'll have to work with for the upcoming season.
"Right now we have a great group of girls," she said. "We're not a very tall team - don't have a dominant post - which will effect what we do on offense. But overall just from being with them, they are a great group of girls and we're looking at focussing on improving, being upbeat, positive and being better than the day before."
Moore said she was thrilled with what she saw at the camp.
"I felt we improved every game," she said. "We have a long way to go, and the girls know that. But we're willing to get in the gym and do the work that is needed. And if we're willing to put forth the effort, we're going to get better."
On the floor, Moore doesn't see much changing with Iron Mountain's style of play.
"Knowing what John was trying to do - a lot of in-your-face defense, up-tempo, push the ball. We weren't really able to do that because we were not as skilled in those areas," she said. "I think it's always the goal though. (Former head coach) Sharon Ducat had the same mentality -man defense , push the ball. It's what everybody strives to do. Whether or not that can be implemented and executed are two different stories.
"You have to see what you have personal wise," she said. "You might have to play zone. You kind of have to assess what's coming at you and do your best to put your team in a position to be successful."
In the end, however, Moore isn't going to judge her performance on wins and losses.
"Everybody wants to win," she said. "I don't like to lose, but success comes on a lot of different levels. It's about building bonds and having experiences. We have to look at what were trying to get out of this. We want them to enjoy the game, develop passion and build confidence. Confidence is so important as you go through life.
"I was very tickled with what I saw here (at camp). We have a group of girls hungry to improve. My biggest thing is I'm looking at is, we have to be better than we were the day before. I want to stay positive, fight to the bitter end."