Fresh out of college, Baughman to lead York County high school girls' basketball team

The (Carlisle) Sentinel (TNS)
Morgan Baughman

Morgan Baughman is back in York County.

Red Land High School recently hired the former Cumberland Valley and Niagara basketball player to take the reins of the girls' basketball program.

While at Niagara, Baughman averaged 3.5 points in her senior season. During her tenure at Cumberland Valley, Baughman helped the Eagles secure a third straight trip to the PIAA Class 4-A finals during her senior season in 2016 with two free throws with 0.8 seconds left to get the 43-42 win over North Allegheny.

She took part in winning three straight PIAA Class 4-A titles with CV from 2014-16.

Baughman averaged 9.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.3 steals and 0.7 blocks per game, shooting 43 percent from the field and 74 percent from the line during her final season as an Eagle.

With the COVID-19 pandemic still raging on, the 2020-21 basketball season may look different come winter. Baughman took some time out to talk about what that might look like in her first year as a head high school coach.

Q: Who or what convinced you to apply for the Red Land head coaching job, especially since you're right out of college?

A: I graduated from Niagara University with my teaching degree in January. Since I needed to take classes to be eligible to play basketball, I started on some of my graduate classes. I knew that I wanted to start my teaching career in the fall and was already on the lookout for teaching jobs. I found a teaching job at Red Land, and after looking further into their job postings I saw the opening for the coaching job. I automatically felt like it would be a perfect fit in both aspects. My parents were super supportive and gave me that confidence boost I needed to apply.

Q: How does it feel to come right out of college and land a head coaching job with high school basketball?

A: I am so grateful for the opportunity that everyone at the West Shore School District has given me in teaching and coaching this year. It is honestly a surreal feeling to be the head coach right out of college. I always knew that I wanted to coach high school girls basketball, even during my years at CV. It feels really great to be able to give back to girls' basketball in the Mid-Penn.

Q: How prepared are you for your first year at the reins of the Patriots?

A: So far, open gyms have been well attended and productive. I am fortunate enough to have a very helpful and dedicated staff in Cary Collier, Makenzie Kelley, Heidi Colsher, Alecia Rhorer and Matt Martin. The athletic department staff and administration at Red Land have been extremely supportive of how I want to move forward with the program.

Q: Is there anything you learned with Cumberland Valley or Niagara that you can apply to your coaching at Red Land?

A: I learned a lot about who I want to be as a coach from my time at Cumberland Valley and Niagara. Eagles head coach Bill Wolf (a former standout at New Oxford High School) had a profound impact on me as a player and who I plan to be as a coach. At Cumberland Valley I learned what it takes to be successful in not only the Mid-Penn and District 3, but at the state level as well. In college I was able to expand my basketball IQ and really analyze the game which will help me tremendously.

Q: What's the one thing that has most surprised you about coaching that you weren't prepared for?

A: One thing I have had to get used to is our multi-sport athletes. I am a huge advocate of my student-athletes playing different sports and having as many different athletic experiences as possible. I wouldn't say this is surprising as much as it is an adjustment. During my time at Cumberland Valley, everyone was a one-sport athlete with only a few exceptions. Then in college, everyone just plays one sport and it is basically all they do all the time. The biggest adjustment with this is going to open gyms and seeing what players I have and their skill sets, and then having the foresight to include the players that are in other sports when it comes to building my playbook around my team.

Q: How has the pandemic impacted your ability to get to know the team and vice versa? How has it impacted getting to work with them and build the system you want?

A: We have been following all the guidelines that our athletic director, Dan Hagerman, has put in place and we have been able to work out in an effective and productive way. I have really enjoyed getting to know the girls as people and as players. They really are a genuinely kind group of girls and I am honored to be coaching them. The one thing I wish I could have done was have a "meet the coach" night where parents and players could have come and met me before we got started with open gyms. I am hoping to be able to do this once COVID protocols allow it.

Q: Is there anything that you believe might change even more based on the restrictions COVID put on the fall season, especially since basketball is an indoor sport?

A: In 2020 it is hard to predict what is coming next. I am hopeful that we will be able to have a season. The new capacity rules are exciting because that means we will possibly be able to have parents come see their kids play. Whatever comes next, we will keep rolling with the punches and playing basketball as long as we can.