Now entering her 13th season as the head women's track and field coach at Texas, Beverly Kearney's goals remain the same as they did when she stepped on campus, win championships. She, along with the team, took their first step to that with their first official practice as they prepare for the start of the indoor season with a trip to the Houston Indoor Opener on Saturday, Jan. 15. Coach Kearney took a break after practice to speak with TexasSports.com about the upcoming season, her roster and the new members of her coaching staff.
On her drive to coach:
Every team, every year is different. My motivation and drive is twice as high this year because we didn't accomplish what we wanted to last year and the expectations going into the year are lower. I try not to focus on what I've done or where I've been, but more importantly, on what I have now and what I think we can do.
On the changes to this year's roster:
We don't have nearly as much depth as we had a year ago, so it is imperative that we make fewer mistakes. We don't have that cushion anymore and that can either put pressure on an athlete or it can motivate them. We've decided to become more focused and precise in what we do. We're emphasizing team because an individual can't win a championship no matter how talented they are. They say that it takes a village to raise a family and we are going to take the village approach in order to build a successful family/program.
On her success translating to respect from her athletes:
I think they respect the fact that I not only talk the talk, but I walk the walk. It isn't a particular walk that I use, but instead, I try to live what I preach. I learned, long before I had a history of success, that people respect that.
On her expectations for the season:
I think that we have a lot of talent. We may not have the numbers that we once had, but the ones we do have are coming with quality. We'll try to get quality performances out of them. Our goals are simple and they haven't changed from last year. We want to win our conference, the regional and then nationals.
On getting contributions from some newcomers:
I just tell them that nobody cares what you've been through, where you are from or even how old you are. Once you step on the track, all they see is a competitor with either their team's uniform on or someone else's uniform, but you are a competitor. If you are going to step on the track, either you are going to give a whooping or you are going to take one, because no one is going to give you any leeway.
On the new assistant coaches:
It's been a heck of a transition because I think they come in with a lot more experience than most coaches come in with. They both have over 20 years of coaching and they are used to working with young people and teaching, not to mention they are very patient. They are good followers but excellent leaders. Sometimes, new coaches can create instability, but I think these two will bring stability to this program because of their maturity and experience.