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From Athlete to Assistant Coach: An Interview with Amie Eppolito

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Playing on a team is one thing, but coaching that team merely a year later is something entirely different. Here at Cairn, several students have transitioned from student-athlete to faculty member; some have made the switch in this past year. Amie Eppolito, a recent Cairn graduate and current assistant coach of the women’s basketball team, had a spot on the women’s basketball team just last year. Graduating as a captain of the team, along with the honors of having made 1,000+ points in her collegiate career, Eppolito now finds herself in an entirely different role: assistant coach. Wondering how she made the transition, as well as secured the coaching position, I decided to interview Eppolito with the hopes she would share some of the details regarding the recent changes of her Cairn identity.


How do you maintain the boundaries of being a coach, and no longer a player? 

The biggest challenge is learning the balance of what to say and what to keep to myself. I still have a personal friendship with many of the players, and I keep that confidential.


What did the transition from “player” to “coach” entail?

The main change was having to sit the bench for the entire game. I have never experienced this feeling, and I was not sure how I would feel, but I am enjoying it! It is definitely different and hard at times to not sub myself in. But this season has been a blast to watch and be a part of in a different way.


What is it like coaching the team you used to play with? 

Shockingly enough, my role has not changed too much from being a captain to being an assistant coach. I am able to add more instruction to the girls, which is fun as I am a teacher at heart! The recruiting aspect is different, but makes it all feel official. It is a new approach to share my passion for the Lord and brag on Cairn University and what it has to offer our students.


What do you like about coaching at Cairn? 

I like building relationships with the girls and encouraging them from the sidelines. Driving the van is definitely the best part…

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