Experience on board

By Gus Bode

A month into her new job as associate head coach, Megan Lanham is ready for the women’s basketball season to start.

Lanham began her job as the SIU women’s basketball associate head coach June 1. She assumed the role that was last occupied by Jody Adams, who took a job as a head coach for Murray State back in April.

Prior to coming to SIU, Lanham was the associate head coach at Indiana State for eight years. During that time, she racked up an impressive record of 16 – 2 in the regular season and won the Missouri Valley Championships in the 2006 – 2007 season.

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Lanham said her decision to coach at SIU stemmed from a desire to one day assume the role of head coach. Lanham hopes that her experience as a head associate coach will help her in this endeavor.

“Someday I want to be a head coach, and I wanted to see how Dana Eikenberg leads her program,” Lanham said, “The athletic department as a whole is very successful. It is like a family here.”

The concept of the team being a family is a positive for Lanham. She said the main difference between coaching at SIU and Indiana State is the relationship with the players, which is essential for success in any sports program.

Lanham said recruiting is a big part of her job. Right now she is looking for new talent from five different states.

Lanham has a very a good idea of an athlete perfect for the Salukis’ program.

Lanham said she looks for a “blue-collar, hard-nosed, competitive spirit (who) wants to win.”

As part of practice for the regular season, Lanham said she is adamant on having the men’s basketball team and the women’s basketball team compete in a scrimmage.

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While this form of scrimmage has been done in the past, Lanham said it would be beneficial to the team because the women would have to compete against stronger, different types of players.

Junior guard Erin Pauk said the new coach would be an asset to the team, which is coming off one of its most successful seasons in recent memory.

“She’s bringing in a lot of new drills and new things that she can incorporate into our offense which will make us a better team than last year,” Pauk said.

The new drills could make the team even better than the previous season. Last season the Salukis finished with a regular season record of 21 – 11 and a MVC record of 16 – 2.

Eikenberg said Lanham has the right stuff to expound on last season’s feat.

“I think she brings great knowledge of the game, another level of energy, and experience,” Eikenberg said.

Daily Egyptian writer Seth MacFadyen can be reached at [email protected] or at 536-3311 ext. 282.

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