Basketball coach has 3 roles


Mary-Lynn Retassie

Renee Brown, international services director, works at her office desk.

Tyler McNulty, Editor-in-Chief

Women’s basketball Assistant Coach Renee Brown is entering an international services world as a Pitt-Johnstown department director. 

In this international services director position, she is also to be in charge of study abroad programs. 

Brown said she was offered the position in early May. 

“The position encompasses both aspects of international services and study abroad,” she said. 

Brown said, in international services, she helps provide the development and strategic initiatives associated with international student transition, engagement and satisfaction. 

She also said she acts as a liaison between  campus departments. 

“(Also), I design and collaborate with other colleagues and implement co-curricular programs and services to the international students,” Brown said. 

Working with students who study abroad, Brown said her main responsibility is to advise both international and domestic students exploring study-abroad opportunities. 

With three positions, Brown said she’s not sure how she’s able to do it all. 

“My average day consists of waking up at 5:30 a.m. (to do) workouts with the team on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 

“And, yes, I do the workouts with them,” Brown said. 

She also teaches two classes from 10 a.m. to noon on Mondays and Wednesdays and then has office hours from 1 to 3 p.m.

Brown said she also has practice and pick-up games every day and study hall for men’s and women’s basketball players twice a week. 

“This is not including all the emails I receive or write regarding study abroad, international services or potential recruits,” she said. 

Brown attended Edinboro University in Erie and, while there, she played basketball for four years. 

Although she said she did not try to implement anything from her time as a player, but instead tried to implement more of an up-tempo game. 

“My biggest philosophy is that a great defensive team will create more turnovers for easy points,” Brown said. 

She also said that Head Coach Mike Drahos is open to her ideas. 

“The fact that we can sit down and talk about different things regarding plays and practice really makes me feel appreciated and valued,” Brown said. 

She said her end goal as assistant basketball coach is just like any other coach: to win a championship. 

“Also, I would love for some of our players to achieve more accolades because they are talented young women with all the right skills. I want them to achieve both on and off of the court,” she said. 

Brown, who holds a doctorate in coaching and teaching studies, said she’s able to use her degree in all her positions. 

“My research focused mainly on positive youth development, primarily adolescents, and the coaching styles and different coaching climates,” she said.

Brown also said she did research on emerging adults. 

“I have a pretty good idea of how to reach them and to get different messages across,” she said. 

Brown also said she has some programming ideas that will allow her to collaborate with athletic members. 

“(It) will help bring both my international world and athletic world together as one,” Brown said.

Brown said one of her related areas revolved around program evaluation. 

“When I implement programming, I could see whether it was effective, which is always a good thing because you don’t want to waste your time and effort running a program that does not yield any results,” she said. 

Even though she’s not sure what other international directors have done in the past, Brown said her goal is to try and do more programming that is inclusive to both international domestic students. 

“I want the students to interact more and, hopefully through programming, we can increase student engagement on campus,” she said. 

Brown said her end goal as international services director is to send more students overseas to study abroad. 

“I feel as though a lot of students are not aware of our study abroad program and the benefits related to studying abroad.”

With international students, Brown said she has a goal of increasing their enrollment by 5 percent. 

“I believe that my rapport with the international students and programming ideas will spread by word of mouth from current international students to potential international students,” she said. 

With all of her duties, Brown said she’s not even sure how she’s able to do it all. 

“I think my persistence and fear of not exceeding expectations is really helping me each and every day,” she said. 

Brown said the biggest factors in helping her balance the positions are time-management and prioritizing everything that needs to get done. 

“My biggest challenge is not having enough hours in the day and not having two of me.”