Hooping with Heart
Photo from: Simpson Women’s Basketball Instagram
By: Noah Bryerton
Coach Edgar Mendez wants to attend all his players’ weddings.
Since his arrival at Simpson in the summer of 2021, Coach Mendez has preached a culture of family and good character.
“I have some young ladies who are just wonderful people,” Mendez said over phone call.
The women’s basketball team this year is both young and old. The starting lineup holds 3 seniors and a graduate student. Coach Mendez also brought in 3 freshmen this year.
“We’re trying to recruit people that are Simpson. We don’t want to differentiate athletes and Simpson students. I’m trying to recruit people that make a fit for the whole school, Simpson University’s DNA,” Mendez said.
Coach highlighted sophomores Celina Tress and Nikki Thompson, and graduate student Livi Lindsay as a few examples of people he wants the students at Simpson to get to know.
In an earlier conversation, he said “I don’t look at myself as the women’s basketball coach, but rather as the pastor of a women’s basketball team.”
Coach Mendez is focused on relationships with his players even when they are not playing for him anymore. This has been put into practice with the hiring of Bree Northern as an assistant coach. Northern graduated last year and played for Mendez during his first season as head coach.
Mendez wants a relationship with each of his players to where each of them wants him at their weddings.
The Cal Pac preseason poll had Simpson slated in the 7th spot out of 11 teams according to the conference website www.calpacathletics.com.
“On paper, I agree with where they put us. We can make it into the top five, top four, that’s always your plan, everybody would love to get the bye. We’re going to work towards that goal of securing a playoff spot again,” said Coach Mendez.
Coach then talked about the strengths and weaknesses of his team.
“Our team is going to be really good defensively, it’s one of our staples,” he said. “I’m a big defensive-minded coach. The toughest issues we face right now is truly having a pure point guard and not being the greatest three-point shooting team.”
Mendez and company currently sit at 2-2 early in the year. One of those wins came against former Simpson coach Derrick Pringle by a score of 69-54.
The conference home opener is Thursday, Dec. 1 against Park University, followed by two more home games in three days against Benedictine Mesa and Embry Riddle.
If you want to watch Coach Mendez and his team play the schedule is listed below. Also, follow them on their Instagram @simpsonuwbb.