‘We need to be extremely prepared’

Published 11:35 am Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Editor’s note: This is the second of a two-part series in which we will highlight details learned about Longwood University’s new basketball head coaches at their joint introductory press conference held April 26. In this part, we will focus on new Women’s Basketball Head Coach Rebecca Tillett.

Rebecca Tillett, Longwood University’s new women’s basketball head coach, said April 26 that she was convinced to take the position after speaking with Longwood Athletics Director Troy Austin and Longwood President W. Taylor Reveley IV.

“When you’re choosing an institution where you want to make a dream come true, you’re certainly thinking about, ‘Can I make this dream wonderful at this place?’” Tillett said. “And in talking with both of them and their vision for Longwood and Longwood athletics, I was inspired. And just thinking about their visions and — it was mentioned earlier but — the fact that they both were Division I college athletes is really something that compelled me to want to be a part of it.”

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Tillett is coming off back-to-back 20-win seasons at Navy, where she served as the associate head coach in the 2017-18 season, recruiting coordinator in 2016-17 and assistant coach in 2014-15 under two-time Patriot League Coach of the Year Stefanie Pemper.

Tillett also has a wealth of experience and success coaching at the high school level in Virginia.

Asked how she will from her previous roles to her first NCAA Division I head coaching job, Tillett said, “I think I’ve been really fortunate that I was under Stef Pemper at the Naval Academy, who just continued to give me opportunities to lead. … so that I feel very prepared for this. Recruiting is critical to our success. I know it’ll probably come up, the Virginia recruitment element. Certainly having been a high school in the state of Virginia, I have strong relationships with the coaches in the area.”

She said there is talent in the room in terms of the Lancers already on the roster, and she has begun working with them.

Tillett gave some insight into the style of play she likes to promote, thought she noted being versatile.

“We need to be extremely prepared,” she said. “That’ll be in scouting … I also love an up-tempo style of play, and I think to do that, we’re trying to teach players how to make the right read, how to make the right decision, and so as I assemble our staff, that’s something that is critical to me that they have the ability to teach and interact with young women and get them to understand the decisions they have to make (in an instant) …”