|Lindy La Rocque will share tips on shooting and other skills in her new job with SWBB. (Stanford photo)|
“I’m thrilled,” the new assistant coach said during an interview in her office.
A guard for the women’s basketball team from 2008-09 through 2011-12, she took a circuitous route back to the Farm.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in science, technology and society and earth systems, she worked for a finance software startup in Redwood City. During that time she assisted Morgan Clyburn, ’09, who was coaching the Menlo-Atherton girls team.
Next came two years as a graduate assistant for the University of Oklahoma team coached by Sherri Coale. She left there with a master’s degree in intercollegiate athletic administration. This led to two years as an assistant coach at Belmont University, a 7,300-student Christian school in Nashville.
Return was ‘a no-brainer’
In March she got a call from head coach Tara VanDerveer asking if she’d like to return to her alma mater as an assistant coach. “It was a no-brainer,” Lindy said. Her first official day was April 17.
Associate head coach Amy Tucker had decided to step aside after last season. (She’s still with the SWBB program in an administrative capacity.) Assistant coach Kate Paye was promoted to associate head coach, so Lindy will fill her spot.
Her duties include working with the guards along with Kate and occasionally going to the opposite end of the practice floor to help assistant coach Tempie Brown with the bigs.
Like the other coaches, she recruits, and “I’m excited to help Kate and Tempie with scouting,” she said.
When asked about her favorite Stanford memories, her first response was “fantastic teammates and friends.” As for winning, “it never gets old.”
That winning took her and her teammates to four Final Fours: St. Louis, San Antonio, Indianapolis and Denver.
Lindy and The Dive
One of her signature moments is now simply called The Dive. It came on Feb. 14, 2009, during a home game against Cal. Lindy dove onto the floor to scoop up a loose ball and give it to Jillian Harmon, ’09, who scored.
Although The Dive may be best remembered by fans, “I remember the full game,” Lindy said. Stanford won 58-41. A video of The Dive is archived at www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-JO0vZJOeg.
Another fond memory came at Maples during her junior year when Stanford ended UConn’s 90-game winning streak by defeating the Huskies 71-59 on Dec. 30, 2010.
One of Lindy’s signature skills was her 3-point shot, which was on display as soon as she began playing for Stanford. Her skill inspired a video called “we like 3’s,” that showed, among other things, her eating a triple-dip ice cream cone and swishing trey after trey through the net. It’s archived at www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBNBD5C3fuE.
Team looks ‘really great’
Now that she’s back, her focus is on the team. “They look really great. They’re incredible players and women.” Everyone, including the freshmen, is working hard. The entire team wants to continue the great chemistry that the 2016-17 team had. It’s “such a difference maker,” Lindy said.
That chemistry and bonding should be nurtured by the team’s trip to Italy from Sept. 5 to 15. Lindy went on the quadrennial trip at the start of her sophomore year.
The freshmen are getting help with their adjustment to Stanford basketball and campus life from assigned big sisters. Sophomore forward Nadia Fingall is paired with forward Maya Dodson, senior guard Brittany McPhee with forward Estella Moschkau and senior forward Kaylee Johnson with guard Kiana Williams.
Junior center/forward Shannon Coffee will be a big sister to forward Alyssa Jerome of Canada when she joins her new teammates for her second trip to Italy after helping her national team win the bronze in FIBA U19 World Cup competition.
Also important is that “everyone is getting healthy,” Lindy said.
Missing the Bay Area
During her four years away from the Bay Area, she missed “a lot of things. I’m just such a West Coast kid,” said Lindy, who originally hails from Las Vegas. “The West is always home.”
Life was slower in Oklahoma and Tennessee, but “I missed the buzz that’s in the Bay Area,” she said. The weather is better, too.
Lindy's parents, Alan and Beverly, are both retired, so they plan to attend as many SWBB games as possible, as they did when she was a player. When the games are at home, they will stay with Lindy in her Redwood City apartment.
Lindy will have a chance to show the team her hometown when the Cardinal play in a tournament at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas over Thanksgiving. “It should be really fun,” she said.
Although Lindy is settling into her new job, “it’s still surreal,” she said, adding that it probably won’t seem real until she’s on the bench for the first game.