Photo by Matt Benton
On April 23, 2013, Ryan Weisenberg became the sixth head coach in the history of Pepperdine women’s basketball. This coming season will be his third year with the team. He has experience working in the NBA and WNBA, working with both the LA Lakers and Sparks and also the Houston Comets. He has also experience working with both girls’ and boys’ high school junior varsity and varsity teams. Weisenberg spent three seasons with the Manawatu Jets, a New Zealand-based professional team, serving simultaneously as the head coach and the director of basketball operations.
The season is about to start, and we were able to catch up with the coach for a quick question and answer, going over the team and season overview.
Why did you choose to come coach at Pepperdine?
The people are amazing, and I truly believe we can make women’s basketball one of the top programs in the country.
What is your vision for this team/program, and how will you accomplish said vision?
Our vision is to create a program that competes for excellence on and off the court. Recruiting strong student/athletes. We have players that have the three C’s — great in the classroom, great on the court and great in the community.
Do you incorporate faith into coaching the team, and if so, how?
We hand out a copy of the Athlete’s Bible to all of our team before the season begins, which we encourage them to use as a guide. We also pray after each game at half-court.
About half of the team are freshmen; what does this mean for the team? How will this affect the season?
This means a change in culture, attitude and an infusion of depth in the program. We have a big group of talented young ladies. They are pushing our returners every day on and off the court. They are helping to create a competitive cauldron on the basketball floor.
Our success will be greatly affected by how quickly they are able to compete on the court. We will be starting at least one freshman, if not two, and that means they will have to adapt quickly to the speed and physicality of the college game.
What are your goals for this season specifically?
I want to see the program get stronger and become a force that teams have to deal with night in and night out. We are working on creating a great team culture that reflects the values and standards of Pepperdine. I want the ladies to graduate being very proud of the program — and I want to be part of it for the rest of their lives!
What is the outlook for this upcoming season?
It depends on our youth — if we adapt and learn how to compete quickly, the sky is the limit!
Waves women’s basketball will start the season off on Friday, Nov. 13 against Army and will play their first home game on Friday, Nov. 20 against Cal State Fullerton.
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