Story by Kevin Lonnquist, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
KELLER, Texas - When she found her calling in teaching and coaching basketball, Kate Goldberg discovered a wholesome quality the two roles have in common.
Keller’s new girls basketball coach takes the approach of never looking for a better hand. The one in front of her will do just fine.
“You have to be versatile,” Goldberg said. “It’s one of the most pure things in America. You have to make something out of what you have. This is our team, and what do we do with it. I love to teach the fundamentals and giving them as much as they can handle.”
Approved a few weeks ago by the Keller ISD school board, the 36-year-old Kansas native arrives from Mansfield after four seasons. She replaces Doug Sporrer, who went to Euless Trinity to replace the retired Sue Cannon.
Building what she can out of what she has should be an important skill this season. The 2016-2017 Keller team, which won the District 3-6A championship and advanced to the Region I finals before falling to Duncanville, will look far different in 2017-2018.
The Lady Indians lose five important seniors from that team. This group returns only senior in point guard Mallory Lockhart. But that’s a good place to start for a transition year. Goldberg has gotten to know her players through open gym.
“There’s always that transition period for coach and players,” Goldberg said. “I’m going to utilize [Lockhart’s] knowledge. It’s hard when change happens. But it can be a fun transition. I’ve already talked to the girls to let them know my style.”
Offensively, Goldberg will stress constant communication and pick spots for transition. Keller won’t have a lot of size, so trying to work an inside-out offense likely won’t be the focus. Defensively, everything will start with man-to-man. Adjustments will follow.
Because she arrived so late, there will not be any changes made to the 2017-2018 schedule. The Lady Indians are scheduled to play in the Burleson Centennial and Flower Mound tournaments before competing in the Arlington Classic.
Expectations at Keller are high following a historic season. The girls athletics program collected state championships in cross country and softball. Soccer competed at the state tournament. Volleyball advanced to the Region I tournament.
“I love building character through basketball,” Goldberg said. “When your body is done playing basketball, I didn’t lose the passion. Here, the feeling, vision and passion from the younger players are noticeable. They want to keep it going.”
Goldberg didn’t take Mansfield to the playoffs. For the first three years, she was in the state’s toughest district which featured Duncanville, DeSoto, South Grand Prairie and Cedar Hill. District wins were hard to come by.
Goldberg is making her fourth stop in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Prior to Mansfield, she spent the previous seven seasons between Richland and Richardson. She got her start at Norman North in Oklahoma for one season before moving to Texas. Goldberg made a name for herself when she was the shooting guard for the 2001-2002 Oklahoma women’s team that made the Final Four.
“When I was at Richland we were in the same district and played Keller,” Goldberg said. “I liked playing them. Doug always spoke highly of his players. They played hard for him and wanted to be the best. They’ve kept a good attitude. I know Keller is a great area. This is a good opportunity.”