Yolette enters second year in charge of JU Dolphins


Yolett McPhee-McCuin


Sports Reporter


THE off-season has been almost non-stop basketball for Yolett McPhee-McCuin and now her focus shifts from the national level to the collegiate level as she enters her second year at the helm for the Jacksonville University Dolphins women’s programme.

McPhee-McCuin’s Dolphins hosted their first official practice of the 2014-15 season this weekend at Swisher Gymnasium on the Jacksonville University campus.

Her staff greeted the new-look team, which included six upperclassmen and eight newcomers to the programme.

“There’s definitely been a lot of energy in the gym from everyone involved in our programme - players, managers, and staff,” she said in a press release.

“Obviously with eight new players there was nervousness but that quickly went away with the intensity of every drill.

“There has and will be a lot of learning and personally my staff and I are just excited about the opportunity ahead of us.”

In her inaugural campaign, McPhee-McCuin led the Dolphins to a 13-17 record, 10-8 in the Atlantic Sun Conference.

“The plan is to win an A-Sun Championship and we’ve begun this quest since the summer. Although that’s the plan, our team is focused on winning each and every day in practice. I’m excited about growing with this group.”

The season opens for the Dolphins on November 14 on the road against the Florida Gators.

McPhee-McCuin became the first Bahamian head coach in an NCAA Division I basketball programme when she was announced as the Dolphins head coach in April 2013.

The daughter of legendary Bahamian coach Gladstone “Moon” McPhee and educator Daisy McPhee, she became the third head coach in the 14-year history of Jacksonville women’s basketball.

A 10-year coaching veteran, McPhee-McCuin took on the role of head coach for the Dolphins after a three-year run at Clemson University, where the National Women’s Basketball Insider named her one of the top assistants in the nation.

She achieved another first last year when she was named the Bahamas’ women’s national basketball team head coach, and McPhee-McCuin immediately set out on her path to seek Olympic qualification for the country at the Tokyo games in 2020.

Her team fell just short of advancing to the CentroBasket tournament, but McPhee-McCuin said she was still pleased with the performance of the women’s national team at the Caribbean Basketball Confederation Championships in Tortola, British Virgin Islands, this summer.

“It was encouraging because we beat the No 37th ranked team in the world in the Dominican Republic,” McPhee-McCuin said.

“We are a very young team, so the future is extremely bright. This was not about a team we just strung together. We intend to build up the women’s programme that will be good for years to come. If we can keep this core group together, the Bahamas will be a force to reckon with in years to come.”

The veteran coach said she plans to merge the programmes to benefit each other where possible.

“I plan to bring them to JU (Jacksonville University) to train instead of me having to go to the Bahamas to work out with them.

“They can come to Jacksonville and train like the guys did in Colorado,” said McPhee-McCuin, referring to the training camp that was held at Colorado State with head coach Larry Eustachy.


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