ROSEMONT | Keith Freeman no longer is the Valparaiso women’s basketball coach, but that doesn’t mean his name didn’t come up at Monday's Horizon League Media Day.
Coaches and players from all nine conference teams gathered at the Intercontinental Hotel to preview the 2012-13 season which will begin early next month.
With three new coaches in the league, including Valparaiso’s Tracey Dorow, much of the discussion centered on the incoming and outgoing coaches.
Freeman wasn’t present Monday, but the longtime Valparaiso coach will be on the Wright State sidelines this season, assisting head coach Mike Bradbury.
“You don’t win 400 or 500 games without being able to coach,” Bradbury said of Freeman. “You never know in this profession where the job is going to take you. I had an opening on my staff and talked to several people. His name kept coming up. I called him, we talked, and we got it done.”
While new coaching eras are beginning at Valparaiso with Dorow and in Milwaukee with former Wisconsin standout Kyle Rechlicz, Green Bay is going back in time with its new coach as Kevin Borseth reclaims the reins after Matt Bollant left for Illinois.
Borseth spent the last five years coaching Michigan, but was thrilled to have another opportunity to coach the Phoenix.
“It was important for my family that we get back closer to home,” Borseth said. “I enjoyed my time at Michigan and I learned some valuable lessons there. I’m happy to be back with Green Bay and to continue the success we’ve accomplished.”
All three coaching changes have come with some odd situations this off-season.
Borseth is taking over his old program while Dorow will compete against her program’s former coach twice this season. Rechlicz doesn’t have to worry about coaching against former Milwaukee coach Sandy Botham, but the Notre Dame star stayed with the Panthers after she stepped down last spring.
Botham is working with alumni affairs and her office is just a few blocks away from the basketball offices.
“Having Sandy on campus has been great,” Rechlicz said. “It’s been a bit different, but she experienced so much success here. My goal right now is to get the program back to where she had it. She wants happiness for the girls and that’s what we all want."
Dorow echoed the sentiments of the other new coaches Monday while praising the Horizon League for putting on an event that brought representatives from every school together.
“We’ve all seen each other out on the road recruiting, but this is the first time we’ve all been in a room,” Dorow said. “Coaching in the Horizon League is an honor and definitely a privilege.
"There is an incredible atmosphere in this conference and we’re thrilled to get started.”