Former Blake assistant coach to replace Mogge
Erin Conley has been hired as the head coach of the varsity girls' basketball team, effective immediately. She will replace James Mogge, who resigned in May after three seasons as head coach, during which the team accumulated a 16-63 record.
In the 2006-2007 season, Conley was the assistant girls' varsity coach at Blake, where she helped lead the Bengals to the state championship game. Prior to that, she coached Blake's junior varsity girls' basketball team for one season, posting a 17-2 record.
Conley is currently a teacher at Northwood High School and is scheduled to join Blair's English department next year, most likely teaching ninth grade English.
According to athletic director Dale Miller, Conley was deemed the best candidate based on her enthusiasm, knowledge of the game and experience as a former player. "Her passion is basketball," he said.
Conley is a native of the Silver Spring area and a graduate of the Bullis School, where she was a member of the nationally ranked girls' basketball team. Conley played at NCAA powerhouse UNC-Wilmington as a walk-on before returning to the area as a teacher and coach.
As a player herself, Conley hopes to draw upon her own experiences. "I love to play," she said. "I have a natural understanding of the game and I like taking the game to a new level." She currently plays in a recreational league and enjoys playing alongside her team during practices.
Conley met with the Blair team for the first time after school on Wednesday, June 6. She discussed workout regiments and basketball camps and clinics for the off-season, so that come the start of the season, the team can focus more on teamwork and cohesion rather than getting in shape.
The main goal of the girls' program is to improve on this year's season where the team posted a 3-20 record and build for the future, according to Conley. "We're not going to go undefeated next year," she said. "Long term, we want to develop a program that is reputable, one that remains competitive." From a strategic standpoint, Conley employs a fast-paced offense run from the inside out, complemented by hard-nosed pressure defense.
Based on what she has seen so far, Conley is very hopeful about next year's prospects, despite the team's past struggles. "I'm really excited," she said.
After seeing difficult times in recent years, Miller is also optimistic about the future of Blair's basketball programs, spearheaded by Conley and second year varsity boys' coach Mark DeStefano, who will also begin teaching in the Blair English department next year. "We're going to put the time in," said Miller. "We're looking forward to next year."
Andrew Kung. Andrew Kung is a rising Magnet junior who is psyched for a year of Chips Online. He has lived in New York, Michigan, and New Mexico prior to his current residence in Maryland. As a cynical sports fan, he is not often disappointed, but not … More »