Samantha Doucette will cross the street to coach another basketball team.
Orange Coast College has hired Doucette as its women’s basketball coach, the school announced on Thursday. Doucette moved across Fairview Road, as she just completed her first season as the head coach of the Costa Mesa High girls’ basketball team.
In that one season, Doucette revived a program that had seen its numbers drop to just six players, restoring Costa Mesa girls’ basketball to the point where it could field a team at multiple levels.
Costa Mesa shared the Orange Coast League championship with Santa Ana last season, which marked the program’s first league title since it won back-to-back crowns in 2007 and 2008. The Mustangs went 16-13 overall and 9-1 in the league, advancing to the CIF Southern Section Division 5AA quarterfinals.
Doucette wants to also turn around the Orange Coast program. The Pirates went 2-22 overall last season and 4-21 in 2017-18.
Doucette, 25, was named the Daily Pilot Girls’ Basketball Dream Team Coach of the Year. She also played for the Vanguard University women’s basketball program, earning NAIA All-American honors three times.
“I wish nothing but the best for that program, and I hope the girls stay motivated and know that I’ll be watching,” Doucette said of her time with the Mustangs.
Doucette also expressed her gratitude to Costa Mesa for giving her the opportunity to coach the team. She said that she had been a finalist for the Pirates’ head coaching job when it opened up last year, and Costa Mesa waited for the hiring process to be completed before naming her as head coach.
“It’s where I want to live, it’s what I want to do, the level that I want to coach, and I can stay there for 25 or 30 years and really grow,” Doucette said of being hired to coach the Pirates.
In her first chance to coach at the college level, Doucette said that she is excited about being able to help her players achieve the goal of making it to a four-year school.
Doucette succeeds Sabrina White, another coach with local ties at the high school level. Prior to coaching at Orange Coast, White coached basketball at Los Amigos for 11 years.
“I think the most exciting thing about the OCC program is that it’s known for being a great program,” Doucette said. “We’re in this interesting phase where we’re trying to get back to being known for being a great program.
“There have been a couple of bad years recently, and I’m back in a similar position that I was last year where I have to build a program back up, and I’m really excited about that opportunity.”
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