Urquhart returns to N.C. Wesleyan program as assistant coach
Published 8:39 am Saturday, November 15, 2014
ROCKY MOUNT, N.C.
Samantha Urquhart has rejoined the women’s basketball team at her alma mater, North Carolina Wesleyan, this time as a member of the coaching staff. Urquhart, a 2009 graduate of Southampton High School, also teaches second grade at Fairview Elementary in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.
A four-time Most Valuable Player for the Rocky Mount-based Battling Bishops, Urquhart served as team captain during her sophomore, junior and senior years before graduating with her degree in early-childhood education. She finished her collegiate career seventh on the program’s all-time scoring list (1,125 points), second in rebounding (772), and as the leader in career free-throws made (386).
After a year away from the game, Urquhart jumped at the chance to get back on the court.
“I’ve been playing basketball most of my life, and I missed being out there,” she said. “I’ve played for as long as I can remember, whether it was youth leagues or AAU.”
With the season rapidly approaching, Urquhart is learning how to coach on the fly, but hopes that she is able to pass her love and knowledge of the game onto the current crop of players.
“They’re a young team, and we’re going to have to put in a lot of hard work in practice and games,” she said. “This year is going to be a learning process for both the players and myself, but working together, we’ll be able to learn from each game and each other, and hopefully the wins follow.”
Artina Trader, head coach at N.C. Wesleyan, feels that Urquhart will make a wonderful addition to the coaching staff.
“I don’t doubt that she will take the same approach to coaching as she did to her playing career.” said Trader. “She ended her career just 13 rebounds shy of the school record, and she improved every year. She will be a hard worker and motivator for the young ladies in the program.”
Trader seemed uncertain whether Urquhart’s future is in coaching, however, simply because she’s “doing a great job as a second-grade teacher.”
The three-time all-conference player had a few offers to coach elsewhere, but nowhere made as much sense as N.C. Wesleyan.
“The school reminds me so much of home, which is why I chose it in the first place,” said Urquhart. “It has a small-town feel where everybody knows everybody, and it’s easy to build relationships. I did have a local high school approach me about an open position, but the time that they practiced didn’t match up with my teaching schedule.”
As for whether or not Urquhart will choose one career path over the other, she noted that they’re quite similar.
“Coaching is a lot like teaching,” she said. “Even though one deals with younger kids and the other with college kids, I’ve learned that you can’t assume something with either. You have to make sure you tell them every last detail.
“If you don’t, they’ll surprise you.”