New women’s basketball coach pairs optimism and honesty


Courtesy photo from CRC Athletics Department page.

Interim Women’s Basketball Head Coach, Samuel Kirby. This is Kirby’s first year coaching the Hawks basketball team.

The women’s basketball team is going into its 2022-2023 season with a new Interim Head Coach, Samuel Kirby.
Kirby has been around basketball for nearly his whole life. He has experienced all aspects of the game, from playing and recruiting to assistant and head coaching positions. With the new season starting up, Kirby said he’s excited to begin building a positive environment for his athletes and compete this season in the Big 8.
After graduating from Foothill High School, and winning the state championship with them his senior year, Kirby chose to attend Delta College.
“The biggest thing that I can help my players with is just their approach, their approach to everyday life, their approach to practice, to getting up every morning and starting the day off right,” Kirby said. “If you keep stacking great days together you are going to have a great week, and then a great month, and a great year.”
After attending Delta College, Kirby earned a scholarship to further his academic and athletic career at Seattle University. There, he helped his team secure their first 20-win season in 20 years.
Kirby said he feels strongly about the importance of education. He was presented with opportunities to play overseas while attending Seattle University, but chose to complete his degree instead.
“At that time, there was only one other person in my family that had graduated from college, so it was a big deal for me and my parents,” Kirby said.
Upon completion of his degree, Kirby went straight to his dream job, coaching basketball. His first team was a junior college in North Seattle. After bringing that team from worst to first in two seasons, Kirby began looking for coaching opportunities closer to his hometown.
After coaching at prestigious schools such as Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Kirby came back to Sacramento to coach the Hornets basketball team at Sacramento State.
Brian Katz, previous Hornets men’s basketball head coach, said he enjoyed coaching with Kirby throughout his early career and said he has confidence in Kirby’s ability to lead the Hawks to success.
“He’s really smart and an excellent teacher of the game,” Katz said. “I believe that he’ll be a tireless worker, and the players will really relate to him and like playing for him.”
The CRC Athletic Director Colin Pregliasco is excited to have such an experienced coach leading the women’s basketball team this season.
“He brings with him a strong idea of coaching at a high level, but more importantly, he has the passion and the caring for his student athletes,” Athletic Director Colin Pregliasco said. “We pride ourselves on that family-environment, it just feels like a great fit for here at CRC, I think he is going to fit right in with our coaching staff this year.”
Kirby said he has confidence in his knowledge on the recruiting process, given his experience first hand as an athlete and coach.
“I don’t expect any of them to have it all figured out–I don’t have it all figured out,” Kirby said. “But the most important thing is to continue to learn, continue to grow, and let’s figure it out together.”
Kirby considers his coaching style to be a balance of optimism and honesty. This allows his athletes to improve their game, while feeling it is still a positive environment to be a part of, he said.
With goals of ensuring his athletes have a positive athletic and academic experience at CRC, developing the culture of the women’s basketball program and setting a foundation for the years to come, Kirby is ready to take on the new women’s basketball season.