WVC welcomes first-year assistant coach Tara Arnold
MOUNT CARMEL -- While Wabash Valley College women’s basketball continues their search for a candidate to replace former coach Luke Scheidecker, the Lady Warriors welcome a new assistant coach for this season, first-year assistant coach Tara Arnold.
Arnold has been around basketball much of her life, first playing in high school at Western Hills High School in Frankfort, Ky. During her senior season playing point guard, Arnold led the Lady Wolverines with 16 points and 3.7 rebounds per game -- leading the county in points per game.
“Ever since I was little I just wanted to play ball,” Arnold said. “It was just instilled in me. When I was in high school I kind of had to choose between between softball or basketball because I loved them both and find which one I wanted to play, but my heart was always pulled toward basketball.”
Following the completion of her high school career, Arnold did not exactly have a conventional collegiate basketball experience. She started at Western Kentucky University in 2009 prior to transferring to Morehead State University.
Arnold spent the 2011-2013 seasons with the Eagles prior to transferring to Lindsey Wilson College at the NAIA level due to injury. She capped her collegiate career averaging 10 points and 5.2 rebounds per game, while shooting 71 percent from the free throw line, 44 percent from the field, 40 percent from three-point range and receiving Academic All-Mid South Conference honors.
“I was able to see three different programs and how they were ran on those levels,” Arnold spoke of attending the three universities. “So I have an idea as what it would take as a coach and the experience as a player and how practices were, games were, how hard you go at this level compared to this level, it was a really good experience to know how it all it is. I can try to mold all three into one and that’s what I try to do and how my coaching style is and hopefully it’ll work out for the better.”
Receiving her bachelor’s in communications from Lindsey Wilson, Arnold subsequently attended WKU and received her masters in Sports Management with a concentration in media and branding. While receiving her masters Arnold worked for the IMG Sports Network as the WKU women’s basketball play-by-play commentator.
Having completed her masters, she then turned her eyes back to the game she loves, joining Morehead State coach Greg Todd’s staff. She spent two seasons as Director of Operations for women’s basketball at Morehead, a route she was not sure she wanted to ultimately do.
“I had to give it to coach Greg Todd at Morehead State, he kept in contact and called me up and said, “Why don’t you come join my staff?” I was like sure, I’ll give it a shot, we’ll see how this goes,” Arnold recalled. “Of course I love the game too much to be away from it, so now I love coaching. Pretty much my mom was right, she always thought I’d be a good coach.”
With Arnold being set on coaching following her experience at Morehead, the Eagles began recruiting former Warrior Ashley Moore. Moore’s recruitment put Arnold in touch with Warrior assistant coach Jack Trosper and then head coach Luke Scheidecker, allowing her to hear about and ultimately accept a vacant assistant coach position at WVC.
“They had a position open and I just feel like it was the right fit for me to get my feet wet and build a foundation here, get great connections, very good experience and hands on,” Arnold spoke of the opportunity at WVC. “At a level like this, you have to do everything.”
For now, she has been in Mt. Carmel since early this summer and she’s relishing the new opportunity with being able to interact with the players on a scale she was not capable of as Director of Operations.
“There’s a lot of things you deal with being a coach,” Arnold said. “It’s not just running practices and having games, you take care of these kids. That’s a main thing I like to do is be there for these girls to enrich their lives and help get to where they want and their dreams. We help academically, discipline, we take care of them on and off the court.”
Despite taking the road less traveled, Arnold has wound up at a position she enjoys and is continuing to grow, now as a coach.
“It helped me grow as a person, an athlete and even now I use it to my advantage as being a coach.” Arnold said.
Arnold’s Lady Warriors will begin their season on Nov. 3 as fans can get their first glimpse of the new Warriors at home against Missouri Baptist’s JV at 1:00 p.m.