08:48 AM

Michelle Abella named 2015-16 Female Apprentice Coach for Mohawk Women’s basketball team

Apprentice Coach Michelle Abella joins Mohawk Women's Basketball Coach Kevin Duffy for the 2015-16 season. Apprentice Coach Michelle Abella joins Mohawk Women's Basketball Coach Kevin Duffy for the 2015-16 season.

Michelle Abella is ready to take the next step in her evolving coaching career. Already a certified Level 2 coach, Abella returns to Mohawk College this season as an apprentice coach under the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association's (CCAA) Female Apprentice Coach Program. The former Mountaineer Rookie of the Year also played varsity basketball for the Sheridan Bruins in the OCAA.

The CCAA's Female Apprentice Coach Program allows young female coaches to gain experience and be mentored by seasoned coaches. The goal is to develop and grow a rich source of potential coaches within the ranks of graduating student athletes with the hopes that they will go on to work with college athletics teams.

“Michelle was a tenacious player,” said Michelle Ball, Director Engagement and Athletics at Mohawk. “During the last few years she has transferred her on-court attributes towards sharing her love of the game through coaching.”

Abella was recently the head coach for the St. Jean de Brebeuf Junior Girls team. She’s also worked with U13, U14, U15 and U16 teams.

“An opportunity such as this will serve as a key stepping-stone into another role,” said Abella. “Coaching at a high level will allow me to improve on my current skill set and will help me to learn new ones.”

Abella expects to work with the student-athletes by monitoring their skills through error detection and correction, individual workouts and identifying player personnel.

“I will provide feedback to the coaching staff and athletes with regards to new and effective ideas to improve in-game strategies, player rotations and team concepts,” she said.

Abella also plans to act as a positive role model on and off the court, helping to build character, self-esteem, and confidence to maximize the efforts of the student-athletes.

“We feel that the numerous responsibilities and roles that she will experience with our team this year, will help bring her coaching to another level,” said mentor coach Kevin Duffy.

“I’m excited about Michelle’s interest in giving back to the College game and developing as a female apprentice coach at the CCAA level,” said Ball.

Mohawk Mountaineers head coach Kevin Duffy has more than 25 years of coaching experience at the elementary, high school, club, college and university levels.

And he’s recently built a successful program at Mohawk College, where the Mountaineers are coming off back-to-back OCAA silver medals.

“Coach Duffy has built the Mountaineers program during the last six years from a team that was not a playoff contender to provincial silver medalists the last two years,” said Ball.

“His interest in developing players and young coaches, along with his experience as a coach, teacher and role model will make him an exceptional mentor coach.”

Duffy relishes the opportunity to be a mentor coach in the CCAA’s Female Apprentice Coach Program and is looking forward to having a former player back in the fold.

“We feel that the winning culture we have developed would serve as a great environment for Michelle to learn and grow in both personally and professionally,” said Duffy, a certified Level 2 coach.

“The role-modelling she will receive from my outstanding assistant coaches will also be for her betterment and provide support and guidance for her into one day becoming a head coach herself at the post-secondary level,” he said.