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Monday, December 22, 2014

Former women's basketball player become assistant head coach

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From player to coach, Amy Beggin has climbed through the ranks of the New Mexico women’s basketball program by taking advantage of opportunities.

Beggin’s next break will be as assistant head coach, after her promotion from director of operations last Tuesday. She takes over for former Assistant Coach Edwina Brown, who stepped down last month.

This will be Beggin’s fifth year on the team’s staff, but her first as a coach.

“The opportunities just keep coming up, which has been a true blessing,” Beggin said. “I don’t think I could have asked for a better process.”

Head Coach Yvonne Sanchez said she has always been impressed with Beggin’s basketball knowledge.

“Amy has been an invaluable member of our staff since she arrived,” Sanchez said. “She has proven herself ready to step into to her new role.”

Beggin acquired an abundance of accolades while playing for the Lobos from 2006-2010. She attained three All-Mountain West honors on top of earning three Mountain West Scholar-Athlete awards.

“The transition is a lot different than a person might expect,” Beggin said. “As a player you’re just worried about who you are going to play next. As a coach there are so many other aspects involved — so many off-court things, so many compliance things, so many business things … that are involved in running the program.”

After graduating in 2010, the Maplewood, Minnesota native left the Southwest to become a graduate assistant while obtaining her master’s degree at South Dakota State University.

However, after receiving her degree, Beggin said she returned to the Land of Enchanment to work under Sanchez as the video coordinator.

After spending two years learning the video aspects of the program, the former point guard was promoted to director of operations. Beggin said she was in charge of a variety of different aspects of the program as the director of operations that didn’t pertain to on-court facets.

“There were so many different things that I was in charge of,” Beggin said. “As a coach, the workload is definitely going to be more, but it’s going to be more focused on basketball aspects.”

Beggin said she is optimistic about the squad’s chances in her first season as a coach.

“These are now all of Coach Sanchez’s recruits … I am very excited about being able to have a bigger hand in it now,” she said. “This is my first true coaching gig. As a graduate assistant, I was more of a practice player and did a lot of the video work.”

While cherishing her experiences working behind the scenes, Beggin said she is looking forward to playing a role on the court and a bigger role in the practice setting.

“Being able to actually work with the players is something that I couldn’t do before,” Beggin said. “Actually being out on the court at practice, being able to teach the game and work directly with the players is the part that I am looking forward to the most.”

After graduating from UNM, Beggin said she wanted to have an effect on the game as a teacher and guide.

“I wanted to get into coaching as soon as I graduated,” she said. “Now I have the opportunity to directly impact them.”

Liam Cary-Eaves is a freelance writer for the Daily Lobo. Contact him at sports@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @Liam_CE.