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Bethann Ord leaning on basketball pedigree to lead Weber State's rebuilding process

Weber State coach Bethann Ord is looking "to change the culture of the entire program" as part of a long-term rebuilding process. That begins with learning lessons from each loss.

Weber State coach Bethann Ord during Friday's loss at Seton Hall.
Weber State coach Bethann Ord during Friday's loss at Seton Hall.
Photo by Ray Floriani.

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - She surveys the action up and moving down the area in front of her bench. Affixed on what is happening, she processes the information, shouts instruction and/or encouragement and moves on to the next possession.

Bethann Ord is the Weber State Women's coach. And it is not a surprise.

"I came from a coaching family," she said following Weber State's 78-61 loss Friday at Seton Hall. "My dad coached basketball and was AD at Monroe (Rochester,NY) Community College and my mom coached tennis. I sat behind my dad's bench since I was about five. Definitely grew up with athletics and coaching."

On this evening at Walsh Gym, Ron Bertovich introduces me to Ord's parents. Ron is with the CAA but as Atlantic Ten Commissioner in the 90's, he always had a deep respect and regard for Shapiro's work - a respect that grew into friendship.

Ord's father Murph is better known among basketball people as one in a striped shirt. He retired a few years ago after a long distinguished career as a Division I men's official. Fittingly, she is very fair with officials during the game - Shapiro says she will discuss officiating with him, not to be critical of officials but to gain further knowledge on certain plays and situations that arise.

Ord's mom is lamenting how Weber is not getting after it. A visitor explains the Weber game plan is solid but the bigger size of Seton Hall creates a problem, a point Ord agreed with and emphasized in post game comments.

Ord played her high school ball in Rochester before continuing her career at UMBC. Following UMBC she began a coaching career that has spanned over two decades. And counting. She is in her second season year at Weber State of the Big Sky Conference. It is a rebuilding situation but she had the Wildcats off to a 2-0 start before the setback in South Orange.

Her most recent stop was a very significant one: she spent four years as an assistant to Jeff Walz at Louisville.

"He (Walz) was a great mentor," Ord praised. "He is one of the best X and O's people around."

Ord went on to explain how Walz allowed his assistants to get involved in many areas of the program. He is also an outstanding motivator.

"He brings players to a higher level," she said. "We went Sweet 16 three of my four years there without having high school All-Americans on the roster."

Ord was flattered that her Seton Hall counterpart Tony Bozzella praised her club's execution and hustle. As noted, she was upset regarding her team's lack of toughness on this night. Discussing the long-term, she perked up with added enthusiasm.

"We have amazing facilities and a beautiful arena at Weber State," she said. "The program has had tough times but the administration is committed to building and maintaining a winner."

She speaks of taking the program to another level and realizes we "have to change the culture of the entire program."

A few days following the Hall contest, Weber would lose a tough one at Army. The record would fall to 2-2. The lessons her club learned on the trip East would be significant.

As Bethann Ord's parents undoubtedly remind her coaching is teaching. Rebuilding involves a learning process as well.