After seven seasons, Hawken teacher and advisor Patty Hace is resigning as head coach of the Girls’ Basketball Team. Instead of coaching next winter, Patty Hace has decided to take classes to obtain a degree in Communications toward her ultimate goal of a PHD in Phycology. Leaving the game will no doubt be difficult for Coach Hace. She started the sport in second grade, played in high school for Our Lady of the Elms, and went on to a college career at Kenyon. As she stated, basketball has been a passion for “my entire life.”
Interestingly, Coach Hace never envisioned a coaching career for herself. “I never actually thought that I would be a coach. I was a tough athlete to coach throughout high school.” During her high school and college days she developed a strong passion to win, which she certainly brought to her role as a coach. In 2014, the Lady Hawks were District 3 runner ups – a very impressive accomplishment for our basketball program. However, Coach Hace brought more than winning to the program. “My goal was to have more of a fun environment, while still trying to be competitive. To show passion for basketball that I hope some of the athletes found while playing here at Hawken.”
Sadly, Coach Hace’s last season as basketball coach did not turn out the way she hoped. The 2015-2016 team finished the season with a 6-14 overall record (4-10 in the conference). Yet, Coach Hace was still proud of their campaign. “This past season was a lot of fun. We didn’t have that strong of a record, but the deep energy, attitude, and sense of humor was really rewarding.”
Despite resigning from Coach of the Girls’ Basketball Team, Patty Hace will continue coaching for Hawken as part of the Girls’ Volleyball Program. She began volleyball in 5th grade, which she also played through her four years at Kenyon College. Luckily for Coach Hace, this new adventure is underneath the Hawken umbrella. “I think knowing the athletes here at Hawken is an important factor. I’m spoiled in the sense that I am also a faculty member so I already understand the stressors and anxiety of the Hawken student.” Although basketball and volleyball are two different sports, many aspects – such as passing, hand eye coordination, ball skills, and teamwork – cross over. When asked what she has learned coaching basketball that will transfer over to coaching volleyball, she responded “I think what would translate is understanding the work ethic and maintaining the same type of expectations when picking up a different type of program and a different set of girls… I hope to bring that same type of energy [from coaching basketball], and that same type of balance of competitive drive while still having fun.”
For the past seven years, Patty Hace has been a staple of Hawken’s Girls’ Basketball Program. She inspired, taught, and led hundreds of female student athletes and will certainly be missed by the basketball department. Former player Tori O’Neal said about Coach Hace “she was very supportive and she made playing basketball fun. I learned a lot from her.” Luckily, Coach Hace expects to someday return to coaching girls’ basketball. She does not view this as a “retirement”, but rather a “resigning for an extended period of time until things get settled.” We all wish Patty Hace well in her pursuit of a further education and look forward to her accomplishments in the upcoming Girls’ Volleyball season.