Jul 29, 2013, 1:29 PM EST
It’s the end of July, basketball coaches wrapping up a recruiting season and most sports fans have football on the mind than basketball. Although there are plenty of people who are preparing for the upcoming basketball season, from coaches, players, and even the media. The CAA Basketball season is just around the corner and the CAA is not just welcoming a new team to the league this year in women’s hoops, we are welcoming three new coaches to the league. We wanted to take some time during the summer to introduce the CAA fans to the new face that will be coaching on the sidelines this coming season.
In our first “Getting to Know” blog segment, we sat down with Towson’s Niki Reid Geckeler and got to chat about the serious stuff of women’s basketball and learn a little about the fun side of coach!
CAA: Welcome to the CAA! What is the most exciting thing about becoming the head coach of Towson University?
Coach Reid Geckeler: What excites me the most is the opportunity to lead a group of young women to CAA and program first! Our young ladies have recommitted themselves and are ready to put in the hard work necessary to be successful in a very competitive conference. At the direction of President Loeschke, the Towson community has shown a huge commitment to our program and the impact that athletics can have on the overall student experience. Tiger Arena will kick-off its inaugural season and it is an amazing facility. It’s a great time for Tiger Basketball!
CAA: You have achieved a number of impressive accomplishments during your career as a head coach, including back-to-back 20+ win seasons which lead to postseason bids. What are some of your goals as you start a new chapter with the Tigers?
Coach Reid Geckeler: My goal this season is to create a Championship Culture. We want to put a good product of basketball on the floor each and every night. We want to be known for our strong defense, our up-tempo style of play and our blue collar approach to the game. We will bring our passion and love for the game to the court while depending on each other and staying together. This is what Towson Basketball is about.
CAA: What is your favorite pre-game meal?
Coach Reid Geckeler: The Tour of Italy from Olive Garden
CAA: You finished your collegiate career with Georgetown ranked in the top 10 in three-point field goals made, three-point field goal percentage, assists and games played. How does it feel to still be ranked in these categories and be coaching so close to your alma mater?
Coach Reid Geckeler: I look back at it and feel really good about leaving my mark on that program. It’s one of the things that I preach to my players quite often, you should want to leave your footprints as a college athlete. How do you want to be remembered? So it’s a great feeling to know that I made an impact of that program and it’s is something that I will always remember.
Coach Reid Geckeler: “Together we achieve more.” I truly believe that a strong unit can overcome any obstacle, and the game of basketball forces you to depend on your teammates.
CAA: You welcome back Towson’s all-time leading scorer Shanae Baker-Brice (right) as the team’s Director of Basketball Operations for the 2013-14 season. Talk about what she brings to the team as a former all-star and program great.
Coach Reid Geckeler: Shanae is a great asset to this program. She had an incredible career as a player and is very passionate about Towson University. She is looking forward to sharing her experiences with the current players in an effort to give back to a place that helped her grow and mature as a player, a student and a person.
CAA: What WNBA team do you cheer for and why?
Coach Reid Geckeler: I’d have to say the Minnesota Lynx because they have such an all-star team of players like Lindsay Whalen, Maya Moore and Simone Augustus. It also helps that Rebekkah Brunson, who I coached at Georgetown, is also a member of that team so it’s exciting to see someone I coached have such a successful professional career.
CAA: This year the CAA welcomes College of Charleston to the league in which Natasha Adair just completed her first season at the helm of the Cougars. What is it going to be like to be playing in the same league as a long-time colleague as the two of you coached together at Georgetown for five years?
Coach Reid Geckeler: I am so happy for Natasha, she has done a tremendous job this past season at the College of Charleston. We often had conversations about becoming head coaches some day and it is good to see that both of us have taken on the task of leading two up and coming programs.
CAA: You have a young daughter, MaKenzie. Does she get to travel with you and do you expect her to grow up a basketball player or are you open to any talents?
Coach Reid Geckeler: Yes, you can count on seeing MaKenzie at a couple of games and traveling with mommy. She always tells me, “Mommy you can be the big coach and I will be the little coach.” For now I don’t know about the future basketball star because she can’t wait to put on her Towson cheerleading outfit.
CAA: If you could travel anywhere in the world with your family (or dream vacation), where would you go?
Coach Reid Geckeler: I would have to say Disney World because my 4 year old is the boss of the house. In addition to the satisfaction that I get when I see her smile.
CAA: What do you think the biggest challenge is going to be competing in the CAA?
Coach Reid Geckeler: This is a very competitive conference with some great coaches, so I would say that every night is going to be a battle and you can never take a day off. There are so many different coaching styles and philosophies which make for a very exciting conference.
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