After a 6-19 record last season the University of Wisconsin-Superior women’s basketball team will have a new face leading them on the bench.
A fresh face that may look very familiar to some, former Yellowjacket Emily Carpenter is stepping into the head coaching position.
Carpenter was on the basketball team at UWS only two years ago, playing in the 2019-2020 season, where she set the record for most threes in a single season. While playing with the Yellowjackets, she accumulated three Upper Midwest Athletic Conference champions and two tournament titles.
Carpenter was a sharpshooting guard for the Yellowjackets, finishing second all-time with 160 made threes. But she still passes the rock as she ended her college career with 336 assists which is also second on UWS’s all-time career numbers.
Carpenter also spent two years with the Yellowjackets softball team while she was in school. She started 24 games in 2019 and only one in 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak that sent school online.
“Basketball has basically been my entire life, I’ve played it since I was super young… Now with coaching I just want to be able to give back what I learned from coaches whether it be on or off the court,” Carpenter said.
After graduating she had to wait for the opportunity to coach basketball, but a different opportunity to coach was available. Carpenter has spent the last two years as an assistant coach in her hometown of St. Peter, Minn. for Gustavus Adolphus College’s softball program.
As a guard Carpenter understands how playing fast can put your opponents in uncomfortable situations and after losing a lot of their height that is something that will look different this year. “We changed the pace of the game that we want to play, and were going to be up and down a bit more,” Carpenter said.
As Carpenter is very young she was even on the team at the same time as seniors Kaelyn Christian and Mady Sanders.
Carpenter views the closeness in age with her players as an advantage even though some may not.
“I think it’s an advantage because I can relate to them, I know how they are feeling and the stress,” Carpenter said.
While being young in age she brings experience in a different way that most of the other Upper Midwest Athletics Conference coaches do not have.
“When I played, I won three conference tournaments, I went to two national tournaments… having that experience I know what it takes to be a championship team in recent years.”
One of the main focuses is getting the team to that level of togetherness. “My assistant (Katie White) and I keep reiterating that we are going to be a team that plays together,” Carpenter said and in the few practices they have had she can see it improving.
“The personal relationships that you build off of it are super beneficial, obviously we want to win, but at the same time I’m there for them off the court as well,” Carpenter said as she understands the stress of being a student athlete. With the season creeping around the corner Carpenter is excited to return to the Mertz Mortorelli Gymnasium. “I’m just really looking forward to playing some games, being able to see what we have against other people.”
On Nov. 15, St. Scholastica will head over the bridge to face the Yellowjackets in their home opener.