Meet the Coach: Nikki Reid Geckler
Published: Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Updated: Thursday, December 25, 2008 12:12
Meet the new Women's Basketball team Head Coach Niki Reid Geckler. As of August 1st Coach G, as she is affectionately called by her players, became the new addition to the athletic department and the Howard family.
"We were trying to get a coach that would build a strong program, build energy and get the student athletes back into enjoying the sport. Geckler fits the mold and we are happy to have her," said Dwight Datcher Director of Athletics.
She comes to Howard after 10 years as the assistant coach, recruiting coordinator and academic advisor with the women's basketball team of Georgetown University.
As a former Lady Hoya, Coach Geckler was a standout student-athlete at Georgetown. She was a four-year starter at point guard, and upon graduating in 1993 with a degree in psychology; she left as the schools leader in assists and three-point field goal percentage.
Geckler spent two seasons as associate head coach at Fordham University before returning to her alma mater to coach 10 seasons.
"I'm very honored to have this opportunity to take leadership of the Lady Bison team. The support from the faculty and students is what we need as we work towards being successful this year. We want to make a name not only regionally but nationally for the Howard women's basketball team."
Coach Geckler sat down with the Hilltop and answered a few questions.
The Hilltop: What is your plan of action to turn the team around?
Geckler: I want to take from a page in the Boston Celtics book to adopt the theme "I am because we are." Together we can turn the corner and work towards a great season.
The Hilltop: What skills are you trying to instill into the team this year?
Geckler: Defense is key and it will be the basis of my coaching. I want to embrace our defense and rebound abilities.
The Hilltop: How have your verbal interactions with the team been? Are they warming up to you?
Geckler: Yes, from just my conversations with them over the phone we all seem to be on the same page. We all want to bring change to the team by embracing new things and looking forward. The ladies are focusing on a new future.
The Hilltop: What style of game do you coach?
Geckler: My coaching style is more in the lines of 'Get it and Go' at an up-tempo pace.
The Hilltop: Where is the focus of your academic program this year?
Geckler: As a former student athlete, I am committed to assisting with the dual responsibilities of my players. I understand the student athlete concept and want to embrace their academia along with their athletics. We want to develop ambassadors for the University.
The Hilltop: How are you preparing for this season?
Geckler: We have a very competitive conference this season. Our first game on November 14th against Towson, who had a good season last year, is one that we have to practice and be ready for, but our young women will be prepared. I'm excited about the season, they're excited and we're ready to go.
The Hilltop: How is the search for assistant coaches coming along?
Geckler: We are still in the process of looking for assistant coaches. We've been looking for a good team of experienced coaches that will be as committed to the program as we are. That takes time, but for now I'm solo.
The Hilltop: Do you have any predictions for the season?
Geckler: No, I don't have any predictions. Just be ready to see an exciting level of basketball.