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Borseth adds Vogel to coaching roster

Jacob Westendorf, Sports Writer/Commentary
May 8, 2013
Filed under Sports

The coaching staff for the Green Bay women’s basketball team had a void when assistant coach John Barnes took a job at Youngstown State.

But fortunately for the Phoenix, the team was able to add an experienced assistant under head coach Kevin Borseth when former professional basketball player, and current jack-of-all-trades,  Megan Vogel accepted the position.

Vogel’s path to Green Bay is unique and unlike many other coaches. She has only been coaching for five years, but she’s learned from a variety of respected coaches and players.

After becoming a dynamic player at South Dakota State, Vogel was drafted by the Washington Mystics in the first round. Over the next two years, Vogel moved between the WNBA and playing basketball overseas.

Unfortunately, her playing career was cut short when she suffered three separate knee injuries within two years. Vogel spent the last three seasons at the Division II level with St. Cloud State University in Minnesota and held many different positions, including strength and conditioning coach, recruiting coordinator and academic coordinator. As is the norm with smaller schools, she will retain some of those roles at Green Bay.

Five years into her coaching career, Vogel has been through more experiences than most, but she’s hoping to stay in Green Bay for a longer period of time.

“Though most people would see the negatives, I look at all the experiences I’ve had in a positive light,” Vogel said. “I have played for a lot of different players and coaches. I would like to get ingrained in Coach Borseth’s program, get involved in the community and stick around Green Bay for awhile.”

Vogel’s passion for basketball dates back to her playing days. Vogel said she was not blessed with an overwhelming amount of natural talent, so she had to work harder to succeed. The work ethic required to be a Division I basketball coach is strenuous, but it’s something that Vogel is used to from her days as a player.

“I love the game,” Vogel said.  “I love to play basketball, watch game tape and I love working with players at the collegiate level. I was never the best player, so I had to work harder than everyone. I’m looking forward to bringing that element to this coaching staff.”

Passion is established in the Green Bay women’s basketball community. Coach Borseth is passionate about his job, and the players are committed to sustaining success they have built over the years. The Kress Events Center is always full, and campus is buzzing during the women’s basketball season.

All of this happens despite Green Bay being a mid-major program playing in the Horizon League.

As successful as Green Bay has been over a long period of time,  they are not recognized in the same way as some of the bigger schools such as Baylor and Connecticut.

Vogel however, prefers being in a setting where teams are overlooked. Playing at South Dakota State is similar to playing at Green Bay since they are both small schools.

SDSU plays in the Summit League, which is similar to the Horizon League. Playing in that environment is a challenge Vogel relishes.

“I love the similarity between my playing career and where I am currently coaching,” Vogel said. “I enjoy having the underdog mentality and going in to play against bigger schools and beating them. There’s not a bigger joy in the world, and that’s something that attracted me to Green Bay.”

Beating bigger schools is something Green Bay is going to have to do in next year’s NCAA Tournament. For the second straight year, UWGB lost in heartbreaking fashion to an SEC school as Louisiana State beat the Phoenix in Baton Rouge, La.

Vogel brings about a similar presence to the Green Bay locker room. Vogel considers herself a players’ coach.

“Ultimately I try to have good rapport with all of my players,” Vogel said. “I want them to know I care about them as people first. I want to build those relationships with them first because ultimately that allows me to critique their play. They know it’s because I care about helping them reach their full potential.”

With the passion and work ethic Vogel displayed in her playing days, and her versatility within the coaching realm, there is little doubt that Coach Borseth has added another great coach to an already impressive staff.

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