Bagwell hired as head coach of Palisade girls
Danielle Bagwell on Monday was promoted to Palisade High School’s varsity girls basketball coach.
The 28-year-old Mesa State College graduate and English teacher at Palisade began coaching with the Bulldogs in 2003, instructing the freshman girls basketball team.
In 2006, Bagwell began coaching the Bulldogs’ girls junior varsity team.
“This has always been my goal since I started coaching in 2003,” Bagwell said. “I’ve just been working my way up, learning the ropes.”
Bagwell also coaches soccer, track and softball.
Bagwell takes over for Toni Gunther, who resigned after last season to free up time to watch her son, Kane, play college basketball.
“She’s paid her dues,” Palisade Athletic Director Mike Krueger said. “She’s great with kids and passionate about the game. One thing at Palisade that I think is cool is a lot of head coaches worked their way up, having been assistants. That makes them a more well-rounded head coach.”
Bagwell said she would like to make Palisade more of a defensive squad that will press, play man-to-man defense and, as she said, “run all day long.”
She also knows she has to build a winning tradition.
She could not remember the last time the Palisade girls made a sizeable run through the state tournament.
“It’s been way too long,” she said. “But you can build confidence and that comes from learning fundamentals.”
Bagwell said she believes she can build a group of athletes that thrives on some of the core values generally taught to youths in Palisade.
“It’s an area where people take pride in hard work,” she said.
And it’s an area that breeds tough, strong athletes. Bagwell said two years ago she helped lure Flannery Davis, a soccer player, to play varsity basketball. This season, Davis was the team’s leading scorer.
“If they’re athletes, they can be taught,” Bagwell said. “We won’t have to wait 10 years before we build this program.”