Welcome to the third edition of the Goucher College Athletics Alumnae/I Spotlight!
The Alumnae/I Spotlight is a Question and Answer feature of some of your favorite Gophers. We look forward to updating you on several former Goucher athletics and if you are a former Gopher and would like to participate in our Alumane/i Spotlight, Click HERE and we might use your responses for our spotlight feature!
Today we put the spotlight on former Goucher women's basketball star and current Bowie State women's basketball head coach Shadae Swan:
Shadae Swan C'08 ended her career with 1,632 career points to finish as the second-leading scorer in program history, trailing only Goucher Hall of Famer Renie Amoss (2,220, 1990-93). Averaging 21.0 points per game in her four seasons, Swan is the program's all-time career leader in free throw percentage (.806), 3-pointer field goal percentage (.355) while ranking second in 3-pointers made (116), third in scoring average, third in field goals (602), fourth in free throws (316) and fifth in field goal percentage (.423) for her career in program history.
Swan, a Baltimore, Md., native, was a three-time all-conference selection (2005-06 All-Capital Athletic Conference first team, 2006-07 All-CAC second team and 2007-08 All-Landmark Conference first team). A 2007-08 D3hoops.com All-Atlantic Region Women's Basketball Team, Swan finished as the leading scorer in the Landmark Conference in 2007-08, averaging 22.4 points per game in her senior campaign. By scoring at least 10 points in every game in her final season, she extended her streak of consecutive double-digit scoring performances to 71 games dating back to the 2004-05 season, plus she also surpassed 20 points in 17 of the 24 games the Gophers played.
She finished her fifth season as the head coach at Bowie State University and this season won her 100th career win on a shot at the buzzer. You can view a video of the game-winning shot and the postgame news conference after the Q&A section!
Why did you choose Goucher College?
I chose Goucher because I wanted to be at a school where I would be challenged academically. At the time, I believe Goucher was one of the top 100 liberal arts schools in the country. I also wanted to be in a more diverse environment to help develop socially. Being 20 minutes away from home was a bonus because my family had the opportunity to attend my games.
How did Goucher College prepare you for the real world?
Attending Goucher gave me a diverse perspective on life. I had the chance to associate with individuals from different ethnic and economical backgrounds. The experience was an eye opener. My experience has allowed me deal with difference facets of society. Most importantly, I learned how to adapt in different environments to make those around me feel comfortable without getting outside of myself. Having professors who most often had an open door policy, I learned to always be available to those who you are educating in order for them to be successful. Lastly, while at Goucher, I received a scholarship through Urban Scholars Program. Through this program I attended workshops that taught us about leadership, resume building, networking and character development. There was also a mandatory internship to be completed each summer which gave experience working in the "real world" and prepared me for life after Goucher.
How did being a student-athlete help shape you into the person you are today?
Being a coach, my time as a student-athlete helped me to develop my coaching philosophy and style based on what I experienced personally. What it taught me most is to build and maintain relationships, the ability to work well with others, the importance of self-accountability and most importantly giving your all to every project so that you will not later have regrets.
What was your most memorable experience at Goucher athletically?
My most memorable experience athletically would be when we went to California during my senior year. We were there to play in a basketball tournament. There was a player on another team who had signed a contract to play professionally in Puerto Rico. After playing against her, I realized that I to could play at the next level. Before then I did not think it was possible and I must admit I had not been working to my fullest potential. It was an eye opener. From that day on I vowed to give my all everyday so that I would not have any regrets. During this trip, we also had the opportunity to see the Kobe Bryant and the Lakers play against the Indiana Pacers.
What was your most non-athletic memorable experience at Goucher?
My most memorable moment would be walking across the stage at graduation. At that moment I became the first person in my immediate family to earn a college degree. I made my family proud and my neighborhood. I believe that moment gave hope to a lot of people in my neighborhood that college was a realistic goal.
How did you get into coaching? And why was coaching your calling?
Immediate after I exhausted my eligibility at Goucher, I reached out to my AAU coach asking if I could assist with his team. They were 11 years old at the time. Once I started, I feel in love with it. It brought me such great joy to be able to share my knowledge and experience with this talented group of young ladies who all had aspirations of playing in college, which I had just finished doing. I love that I am able to assist young ladies in their development as an athlete, student and person. Basketball is such a small piece in coaching. Being available off the court is the best and most important role that anyone can play.
You have coached at several different levels (Division III, NJCAA and Division II). How did you time at each place prepare you to be a head coach?
While at Goucher, I was getting my foot in the door. I was able to see all of the planning that went into coaching. I knew that at Goucher we would have to recruit and retain kids who were academically sound. I mainly assisted with skill development and monitoring study hall. They were small roles but I took advantage of the opportunity And assisted in any other way that I could. When I moved on to the junior college level, I was already familiar with how to run skill development groups and the importance of monitoring grades. I then picked up more responsibilities such as practice planning and game preparation. When I arrived at Bowie, I took on all of the roles that I had previously, but I also began to learn the administrative side of the business. I asked as many questions as I could to whoever would listen. My job was to do all that I could to create a stress free environment for my boss. All of my previous jobs made the transition from assistant to head coach less complicated. Over the years, I paid attention to everything. Not only the good, but the bad as well so I would no what not to do. Being persistent and proactive allowed me to evolve as a coach.
In each of your seasons at Bowie State, you have helped the team to a better record currently capped by your 25-5 season this year. How have you been able to turnaround the program into a national contender in five years?
It all started with building trust between myself and the players. In order for them to compete at the level I expected, I had to show them that I had their best interest at heart. As a coach, I never make it solely about basketball. I show them that I respect and care for them as an individual. Once the trust was established, everything else fell into place. We set goals to improve every practice, every game, every year and we hold ourselves accountable. Once my core group (first team) established an identity of hard-work, commitment and sacrifice, I recruited kids who fit the profile. My players from the previous years helped to instill our core principles in our new players. I make it a point that if you are not willing to grow as an athlete, student and person, you may not want to be a part of our program.
What has been your favorite coaching memory?
My favorite coaching memory has to be when one of my players hit a game winning shot as the buzzer sounded to advance us to the semifinals of the 2020 CIAA conference tournament. That game also happened to be my 100th career win.