On June 16, 2017 Hopkins Director of Athletics Alanna Shanahan announced Katherine Bixby as the new Hopkins women’s basketball head coach.
Previous head coach, Nancy Funk, who coached the Blue Jays for 31 years, retired this past spring, passing the position on to Bixby.
Bixby herself was a four-year collegiate athlete and member of the Ithaca College women’s basketball team.
She earned Honorable Mention WBCA All-America honors her senior year and is ranked fourth in points, third in assists and third in three-pointers in program history.
Along with her impressive rankings, Bixby is still the only player in Ithaca’s women’s basketball program history to tally more than 1,300 points, 350 assists and 125 three-pointers.
After her collegiate career, she returned to Ithaca as an assistant coach. During her two-year tenure on the coaching staff, she helped lead the team to an Elite Eight appearance and two Empire 8 titles.
Bixby then brought her young coaching experience over to the Dickinson women’s basketball program from 2014 to 2017. She guided the Dickinson Red Devils to the Centennial Conference Semifinals all three seasons the team was under her direction.
Additionally, Bixby and her team tallied 18 victories last season, the most for the program since the 2006-2007 season.
With her depth of experience, Bixby strives to continue building the Hopkins program.
She inherits a team that had a 13-12 overall record and a 12-8 Centennial Conference record last season.
This season’s team returns many critical players, including four of their five top scorers and their top two rebounders from last season, giving Bixby a solid foundation to work with.
Bixby sat down with The News-Letter to speak about her mission as the new head coach of the program.
The News-Letter: With preseason quickly approaching, what are your goals for the upcoming season? What is your vision for the future of the program?
Coach Bixby: First and foremost, unity. We are solely focused on making this one team. As the program grows together, we expect to be competing at a level of excellence that mirrors the national academic excellence of Hopkins.
N-L:What is your coaching philosophy?
KB: Basketball is a beautiful, challenging, demanding, wonderful sport. Basketball is an instrument for teaching inclusive, empowering teamwork as well as building individual health, wellness and confidence.
I coach because I love the game and love how much it gives to those that appreciate what it provides.
N-L:What changes have you already implemented in the program since arriving at Hopkins?
KB:It has been an honor taking over for Coach Funk after her 31 years of coaching. Everyday I am reminded of how incredibly fortunate I am to be able to be a part of such a special institution, athletic department and coach an incredible group of student athletes. The changes have been predominantly my own adjustment to Hopkins.
N-L:How has your experience been working with the current team members and new assistant coaches Grace Williamson and Grant Johnson?
KB:I have learned that the FFC is not the FCC, Gilman Atrium is a great meeting spot, that Brody is not part of the library, that the best breakfast is at Miss Shirley’s and that if basketball does not work out for our team, they are pretty great cooks, and we could try out for the Great British Baking Show.
The coaching staff gets along great, we have similar visions for the year and for our team, and so far we provide each other with awesome energy.
N-L:Lastly, why Hopkins?
KB: Academic and athletic excellence, diversity, curiosity, Quaker roots, inspiration — the list could go on.
Whether it be in the classroom, on the court or in a passing conversation, the campus and the community provide an excellent environment for growth.
Not only do I see Hopkins as an incredible opportunity for student athletes but a place of lifelong learning, inclusion and athletic distinction for coaching as well.