The last time Molly Greenfield stepped on to the Ellsworth Community College basketball court, she was a shooting guard for the Panthers. Now she is taking the reigns for the ECC program and will be the new Head Women's Basketball Coach.
Greenfield attended ECC from 2013-15 and played under former Head Coach Ed Getiz. In her time at ECC, Greenfield was a big asset to the Panthers and still holds the record for most three pointers in a single season with 82. After graudating from ECC with an associate's degree in Elementary Education, she transferred to play basketball at Waldorf College in Forest City. She remained there for a year and then transferred to DIII Crown College in Minnesota.
At Crown, Greenfield couldn't have been happier with her choice to transfer. She was looking for a school that had sports management and was also looking for a place for a three point shooter. "Everyone was so nice and I learned so much. I grew spiritually and emotionally," commented Greenfield. "It was the best thing ever." She played at Crown for three semesters and received her bachelor's degree in Sports Management with a minor in Physology.
During her time at Forest City, Greenfield took a position as an AAU coach with Iowa Ambush, coaching 12-year-old girls out of Osage.
Greenfield is looking forward to her return to Ellsworth. "This is like my home. I know the community and feel like I will be a part of it forever. Coming back, everyone is so welcoming. Through all of my experiences, its so great to be back. I know I have so much support from everybody. I know this will be a big learning year for me, so I'm going to make mistakes but I'm going to learn through those mistakes and I know people will help me along the way."
Greenfield will bring her experience of playing for Ellsworth as well as a community college and then transferring on to play at another level to the head coaching position. "I have been in these girls' shoes. The coaches I have played against are still coaching in this conference."
The Panthers will have eight sophomores returning to the squad this year, along with four incoming freshmen. "The sophomores have developed a unity from last year but under a unity that Coach Weiland had. I have a different coaching style than he has. I want to find their strengths and weaknesses and try and incorporate that in what I know."
Greenfield has played both the post as well as the guard position, so she is able to educate her players on all aspects of the game. "I know what it takes to be a student-athlete, and I know the community so I want to make sure the girls get involved. I am just as proud of Ellsworth now as when I was here." She is also looking forward to joining the bond that the team has already created and adding to it. "I plan to bring a lot of fun, young energy to the program."
When asked about the closeness in her age compared to her players she said, "I'm very personable, so they can come to me about anything. I have lived at this school. I know exactly what they are going through and hope to help them in that way. But, I'm not a student anymore. This is my career. I need them to know that I will be their mentor and leader, not their teammate. I know I need to establish that this is how its going to be. We are going to condition like crazy. Things are going to be different and either you take it or you don't. I'm just doing it for their best interest."
"My best memories were at Ellsworth," Greenfield adds. "I want these girls to know that these are just the first two years of their careers. I knew we tried our best and my relationships at ECC were some of the strongest and best I have and still have. I want this to be a great time in their lives and something that they will never regret."
Greenfield describes her coaching style as pressurized because of the tough competition the Panthers will face. She is determined that her players will not be afraid of their opponents. She also plans to work on the team's shooting, knowing that the Panthers' averages have been lower than opponents in the past. "I want the girls to be passing, knowing the strengths and weaknesses of each player, basing our play off that, and having fun."
Greenfield plans to start working with the girls right away on conditioning and in the weight room. "I want to focus on the girls. This is about them and moving them on and making the most out of their careers."
Coach Greenfield is looking to the eight returners to help the freshmen adjust to being at ECC. "These girls were in the same position the freshman are in last year. They need to be mentors and bring the new players on as family. When they move on they should continue to watch how Ellsworth does and want them always to be doing better."
After only being in the head coaching job for a couple of days, Greenfield already knows she needs to be looking ahead to recruiting for next year. "I know I will need to be recruiting a ton. I will have to focus, and every Friday night be going to high school games. Right now I'm just figuring out how the season will go and how to make it the best for the girls."