Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Whatever happened to ......American coach Jeff Thatcher

LadySwish is tracking many of the former players and coaches from the programs across the state and asking them what they're doing now. We'll tell you what they told us. If there's someone you've wondered about, please let us know and we'll add them to the mix.

If you're a longtime follower of CAA basketball, you'll remember the name Jeff Thatcher. Thatcher coached American University from 1988-2000, guiding the Eagles to the conference title game in 1998. Thatcher received conference coach of the year honors that year, as American finished 23-7 and received its first postseason berth. The school let him go in 2000 after joining the Patriot League.

These days Thatcher works from his home in Germantown, Md., and runs a summer women's basketball league out of Marymount University in Arlington, Va. The Power Summer League draws around 100 college-age players from Division I to NAIA.

Thatcher confesses coaching is still in his blood, but after leaving American he vowed to be home more so that he could be a bigger part of his children's lives. His daughter Meaghan is 16 and son Colin is 15.  "I wouldn't trade any of my coaching memories for anything," he said. "But you know what? I wouldn't trade the last 10 years for anything, either."

And while nearly all of his memories are good ones, Thatcher admits he still get aggravated thinking about the NCAA Selection Committee's decision in 1998 to exclude American from the field of 64. AU had an RPI of 40 that season and defeated nationally ranked Virginia. Three of the Eagles' losses were to then-national powerhouse ODU.

"They say that time heals all wounds, but I can still get fired up today the same way I was 10 years ago over that. We worked very, very hard for 10 yers to make that happen," he said. "That's the only thing that sticks in my mind in a negative way.

But overall, Thatcher said, "I feel very blessed to have had some of the experiences I had."

No comments:

Post a Comment