Alexa Golden played her last game on Kent State University women’s basketball team on March 23, 2019.
She finished with 11 points and eight rebounds in 38 minutes played during the team’s 70-52 loss to Butler University in the second round of the WNIT.
Golden is the only player in Kent State women’s basketball history to have 500 points, 500 rebounds, 200 assists, 200 steals and make 100 three-point field goals over the course of a career.
After graduating in May 2019, she became a graduate assistant for the team and in December, was elevated to director of basketball operations.
She was officially promoted from that role to an assistant coach position this month, only about a year and a half after graduation.
“Obviously this is something that you don’t expect every day and I’m super blessed in the sense that it was a right place at the right time kind of thing,” Golden said. “I didn’t expect to be an assistant this quick.”
Golden started to become something of a player-coach during her junior and senior years. She started showing more of the qualities that the staff looks for in coaches during those two years.
“We had a few general discussions that turned more specific her senior year, especially when we knew that our graduate assistant position was going to be open,” coach Todd Starkey said.
Her passion for the game and communication skills, as well as her maturity, discipline and character are qualities that are important in being a good coach, Starkey said.
Golden is transitioning from an office position into a full-time, courtside position.
“Being the director of operations is more administrative and I think I really missed being involved in the games so much,” Golden said. “So, that’s been the biggest difference is just being heavily involved with basketball and the players and coaching them up.”
She is working primarily with the bigger guards and wing players which is similar to the guard position she played.
“When I was a player, coach Fran [Recchia] was my position coach, so she switched over to the point guards and I took over all of the girls that are in my position when I was a player,” Golden said. “The translation is very easy for me because I was in their shoes and I think it kind of helps them out knowing that I was able to do it.”
She is planning to take full advantage of working with the staff in a coaching role.
“As a player, I loved our staff and to get the opportunity to work with them is great,” Golden said. “I think this is a great staff for me to start with because they teach me a lot and I learn a lot every day. They helped build me as a person when I was a player, but I also think they’re about building relationships and people that work on our staff.”
Golden is able to rely on the help of the other assistant coaches on the staff, Fran Recchia and Mike McKee.
“She’s doing a really good job of asking the right questions,” Starkey said. “She’s got two really good mentors in Fran and Mike next to her as assistant coaches, so it’s been a pretty seamless transition.”
Kathryn is a sports reporter. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Hi, I’m Lauren Sasala, a senior journalism student from Toledo. I’m also the editor in chief of The Kent Stater and KentWired this semester. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important news about Kent State and the Kent community. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate.