Central tabs Doane as girls hoops coach

When one coaching door closed, another opened for Mary Doane, who leaves the college ranks for a return to high school. Doane was hired by Central High School to succeed Todd Dixon as the girls basketball coach, Central Athletic Director Randy Powell announced Tuesday. Dixon resigned in late May to take the same position at Cherokee Trail High School in Aurora.

Powell said Doane’s competitiveness was obvious to everyone who met her during the interview process, and she has a history of success as a head coach at Durango High School, then as an assistant coach at Colorado Mesa University.

“She is — gosh, where do I start? — she has a proven track record,” Powell said. “She had great success in Durango. She had one of the best mentors in recent years in Roger Walters (the former head coach at Colorado Mesa).”

And, Powell added, “She’s such a competitor.”

Doane served as an assistant at Colorado Mesa for three years under Walters, but he resigned in late April to remain in Rifle, closer to family. One month later Walters landed the boys basketball coaching job at Rifle High School.

Walters’ departure, though, left Doane temporarily without a place to coach. She understood his move to be closer to his family because she’s married and last summer became a mother.

“Life takes you in all kinds of different directions,” Doane said. “Right now, with my family, high school is a good spot for me to be.”

She added, “Family is extremely important to me,” and Walters said Central will see that from Doane in her approach to coaching.

“She puts the kids first,” Walters said. “They’re getting a class, class person. She knows a ton about basketball and does it for the right reasons.

“I’m just thrilled she’s coaching again. She was born to do that.”

Doane inherits a young team, as Powell said nine different freshmen played on the varsity at different times throughout last season, which the Warriors concluded with a 6-17 record. Doane welcomes the challenge.

“You’re going to take a few lickings with youth, that’s for sure, but it’s not a bad thing,” Doane said.

She said she has her preferred styles of basketball to play at both ends of the court, but she won’t force a philosophy. Rather, she will adapt to her personnel.

“Offensively, we want to take the easy bucket if we can, run with discipline,” Doane said. “If we don’t have the horses to do that, we’ll walk it up and be deliberate and make them guard us.”

Defensively, whatever approach the Warriors take, it will be done aggressively.

“She’s more of a defensiveoriented coach,” Walters said. “She’ll get them to play hard and play the right way.”

Doane, nee Psenda, was a starting guard at Palisade High School, where she graduated in 1997. She then played basketball and volleyball at Otero Junior College, followed by basketball at Fort Lewis College.

She was Durango High School’s head coach for six years, where she fashioned a 82-59 record and made five consecutive postseason appearances, including two trips to the Class 5A round of 16. Her 2006 team went 21-4, and she was the Southwestern League coach of the year in 2008.


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