Teaching In The ‘District of Doom’
Ashlaa Zuniga is again dwelling.
Properly, nearly. She’s teaching in close by Waxahachie and her workforce competes in opposition to her alma mater Cedar Hill a minimum of twice every basketball season as they’re in the identical district.
Actually, Zuniga’s Woman Indians can be visiting the Woman Longhorns Friday, Jan. 30 for his or her first of two District 11-6A conferences this season.
“I adore it, my mother and father nonetheless reside in Cedar Hill and it’s nonetheless close to and expensive to my coronary heart. It’s a surreal feeling strolling into the gymnasium as a coach, as a result of I immediately flashback to nice reminiscences I had there as a scholar athlete,” Zuniga stated. “Being within the District of Doom is hard, and I consider now we have a few of the finest gamers in addition to a few of the finest coaches within the state.”
Zuniga is making an attempt to return Waxahachie to the prominence they as soon as held below legendary coach Lesli Priebe, who coached the Woman Indians to 2 state match appearances (2000, 2006), profitable a state championship in 2006, and gained 523 video games in her 28-year profession – the final 24 at Waxahachie.
The final time the Woman Indians had a playoff look was once they reached the third spherical in 2017-18.
“I consider issues are getting higher every day. The expansion in our gamers from Yr One to Yr Two is evening and day. We’re nicely on our manner of bringing girls’s basketball again to Waxahachie,” Zuniga stated.
“An important factor I consider I’ve dropped at this system is a household environment. My assistants and my gamers are my household. I consider we’re actually educating them to be accountable and attempting to play at a quicker tempo.
Woman Indians Get Again to the Fundamentals
“It begins with getting again to the fundamentals, educating fundamentals and gaining curiosity in basketball on the grassroots stage, collaborating with my junior excessive coaches to ensure a pipeline to increase basketball numbers, having gamers who purchase in to the philosophy of constructing leaders on and off the courtroom, specializing in the small print, and doing issues the proper manner. To not point out, having enjoyable and constructing lasting relationships alongside the best way.”
The household environment falls consistent with some recommendation Priebe gave Zuniga.
“Anytime you comply with a coach who has spent many years at a college, you have got massive sneakers to fill. One of the best recommendation she gave me was to not get so caught up in being the coach that you just neglect your loved ones at dwelling.”
The Woman Indians’ roster bodes nicely for the long run as they’ve solely 4 seniors, with three juniors, two sophomores and a freshman.
Her Teaching Profession
Zuniga’s teaching signifies she will be able to get the Woman Indians again to their former type. She was nominated for Texas Affiliation of Basketball Coaches Assistant Coach of the Yr in 2014 and 2016 whereas an assistant at Cy-Honest in Cypress. She was additionally an assistant in that program once they defeated Cedar Hill within the state semifinals en path to the 2010 state championship – a recreation by which her youthful sister Ashtaan Horton was on the sidelines as a cheerleader for the Woman Longhorns.
Zuniga was additionally named the primary head coach at Cypress Creek when its program began in 2016. She helped lay the inspiration for a workforce that’s now ranked No. 1 within the state by the TABC.
“I used to be the inaugural coach. Opening Cypress Park was such an important expertise as a result of I used to be in a position to have an energetic voice and enter within the campus design together with the format of the athletic amenities,” she stated.
Additionally whereas in Cypress, Zuniga coached Gatorade Feminine Participant of the Yr Chiney Ogwumike, who went on to play within the WNBA.
Following her standout profession enjoying for the Woman Longhorns, Zuniga performed for Texas A&M from 2005-08. She helped the Woman Aggies to an Elite Eight look within the NCAA postseason, together with profitable two Massive 12 Convention championships. She was named Educational All-Massive 12 in 2008.
Zuniga has a bachelors of science diploma in agricultural management and a masters of science in sports activities administration.
Teaching Selected Zuniga
“To be trustworthy, I selected that diploma as a result of it allowed me to graduate in three and a half years and allowed me to take loads of completely different lessons to attempt to discover what I actually wished to do,” she stated. “Satirically, I by no means wished to be a trainer or a coach, however I took loads of instructional lessons, which has helped me in the long term.
“Sure, I obtained my masters in sports activities administration with an emphasis in intercollegiate athletic administration. My final profession objective is to be an athletic director on the highschool or collegiate stage.
“After graduating, my place coach at Texas A&M, Vic Schaefer introduced a educating and training alternative to me. He talked about to me that I used to be already an important coach, I simply didn’t realize it. Twelve years later, I’m very grateful he noticed one thing in me that I didn’t even know I had.”
Alongside along with her teaching talents, Zuniga has a philanthropic aspect. Whereas in Cypress she was accountable for the Justin J. Watt Basis donating nearly $50,000 for center faculty after faculty sports activities packages. Now she’s working to do one thing comparable at Waxahachie.
“I’m actively on the lookout for partnership alternatives to recreate one thing comparable now,” she stated. “Nevertheless, focus is not only restricted to center faculty, however attempting to get extra college students energetic within the elementary faculties as nicely.
“I’d gladly love to take a seat down and focus on alternatives with anybody who could be enthusiastic about serving to our youth.”