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Trisha Stafford-Odom Interview Part II: New Concordia coach looks forward

In Part I of our interview with Trisha Stafford-Odom, she discussed her decision to leave her position as an assistant coach with the North Carolina women's basketball team. In today's Part II, she discusses what she'll miss most, how she broke the news to incoming recruits, and her vision for her new home.

Tricia Stafford-Odom will miss the relationships she established at North Carolina.
Tricia Stafford-Odom will miss the relationships she established at North Carolina.

Swish Appeal: What was it like to work for a Hall of Famer in Sylvia Hatchell?

Trisha Stafford-Odom: "It was an honor and enlightening to work for a Hall of Famer, Coach Hatchell. She is a very self-secured woman, who is not opposed to receiving new blood, new ideas, and new life. In that regard, I believe her to be a wise woman. Coach Hatchell would not hesitate to give credit where credit is due. She is truly as competitive as I have ever seen, and she is all about hard work. She is a Christian woman, always wanting to see the best in people, and has the potential to be loyal to a fault."

SA: What is the one thing that you will miss the most about UNC?

TSO: "There is definitely more than one thing I will miss at UNC, but I will start with the players whom I had established a genuine relationship with - the many who call me their "mom" and look to me for clarification, guidance, discipline, prayer, and/or guidance. I'll miss the Strength Coach and the team doctor who became my friends because we often spoke of the same vision for the program. I'll miss the opportunity to have my hands on the development of the incredible incoming class of freshmen. And, I will miss the fierce and improved competition within the ACC."

SA: How did the incoming recruits at North Carolina take the news of you leaving?

TSO: "The incoming super studs (Diamond Deshields, Alisha Gray, Jessica Washington and Stephanie Mavunga) weren't at all happy when I told them I would not be at UNC when they arrived. All 4 of them felt a bit betrayed and confused as to why I wouldn't be around to help them grind through and attain all the goals we talked about accomplishing together. One of the conversations was mostly shock, yet unselfishly happy for my personal opportunity. 3 of the 4 conversations were dreadful. Tears were shed. Explanations were offered. Rash decisions were blurted out. Ultimately, these young ladies want what is best for me as much as they know I want what's best for them, so they regretfully accepted my departure, while still being a bit confused."

SA: In the basketball community, you were known as one of the elite recruiters in the industry, what was your favorite aspect of recruiting?

"My favorite aspect of recruiting is knowing that by simply being me and taking up genuine interests in people, I seem to gain trust. People end up wanting to be around me and wanting me to be the one to make them better. I also love the aspect of knowing that there is no formula for what I do. It's an anointing."

SA: What is your vision for Concordia?

TSO: "My vision for Concordia is that we transform into a respective national powerhouse, reflecting a distinguished style of play, a winning attitude, and an expectancy of dominance. I envision us becoming the place players who are serious about their academics, and prideful of their faith, desire to be."

SA: What is something that you would like to say to the Tar Heel faithful?

TSO: "To my dear Tar Heel Faithful... I am most appreciative that you acknowledged my contributions and my passion for the UNC women's basketball program. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for receiving me and encouraging me to be bold. I am sorry that I could not personally thank each of you for the smile or the email, the high five or the push you gave me. I wish each of you knew that my desire would have been to complete the task started and be holding up an ACC, then a National Championship trophy with the UNC players I love so dearly."

Click here for Part I of this interview.