LINGLE – The Lingle-Fort Laramie Lady Dogger basketball program has found its new leader.
Susan Bartel takes over the reins of the program from outgoing coach Matt Cornelius.
“We are really excited to have coach Bartel on our staff,” L-FL athletic director Mike Lashley said. “She has a vast basketball knowledge having played four years at the Division I level.
“Coach Bartel has some really neat ideas about where she wants the program to go and how she’s going to get there. It came through very clearly in the interviews,” he added. “She sets goals. She knows what needs to be done. She’s put together a plan on how to get there.”
Bartel recently moved to Lingle after 18 years in Texas where coaching high school basketball wasn’t a possibility.
“Where I lived previously, you could not coach unless you were a teacher,” Bartel said. “My career, obviously, is not in the school system, so it wasn’t something I could pursue.”
Despite that, she is no stranger to being on the sidelines. Bartel coached both youth and competitive youth ball in Texas.
“I love sharing. I love working with kids,” she said.
So, when the opportunity came about, she put her name in the hat for the coaching position at L-FL.
“When the opening opened up here, we discussed the opportunity. I reached out to (Mike) Lashley,” Bartel said. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do ever since I graduated college.”
Bartel played college basketball at George Mason University, just outside of Washington D.C., playing in the Colonial Athletic Association.
“It was a good experience,” she said. “I have a love and passion for the sport.”
Bartel has had some opportunities to take a look over her new team with open gyms this summer, and the early returns are positive.
“The teamwork is already there. This is a great group of girls from what I’ve seen so far,” she said. “They are cohesive. They work together well. The program I’m taking over hasn’t been super successful the last few years, but they were coached well. So, I’ll just pick up and do my own thing with it.
“I’m a proponent of looking at who we are playing and the talent I’ve got and making that decision,” Bartel added. “There isn’t one thing I’m going to run and only run – both offensively and defensively. It will depend on who we are playing, the talent they have and how we match up with them.”
Ultimately, Bartel’s goal is to build up each girl individually.
“Build their confidence, as well as their skill level,” Bartel said. “Focusing on fundamentals.”