Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Jackie Lindquist is in her third season as the Mountain View girls basketball head coach.
Jackie Lindquist is the head girls basketball coach at the third-year school Mountain View. The former Berkmar head coach and Central Gwinnett assistant moved to Georgia from New Jersey to play basketball at Tift and Mercer and began coaching immediately after graduation.
In this installment of "Getting to Know..." Lindquist talks with staff writer Ben Beitzel about building a program from scratch, taking a decade between head coaching jobs, the Atlanta Dream and one of her favorite years. Hint: 2009.
BB: You coached at Berkmar through 2009. What were the reasons that landed you at Central with Cass Cassell?
JL: That is the life of a coach. That is a hard question to answer. They were ready for a change in the head coaching spot, so that is what happened. For me, it was a fortunate situation. I got to learn a lot and work with an excellent coach in Cass Cassell. We were a great team and a great group of young ladies. They were an average team a couple of years before and then were state runner's up and state champs.
BB: In the 10 intervening years, did you miss being a head coach?
JL: I never would have thought that (it would be 10 years). Wow. I didn't know if I would be a head coach again. But when an opportunity like Mountain View and a brand new school and it's right down the street from my house, when that opportunity came I was ready to jump on it. I knew I wanted to work in this area. I had heard wonderful things about our principal Mr. Keith Chaney. I came out here for the interview and by the time I got home, the athletic director at the time was calling me and talking about sportsmanship and stuff like that and I pretty much felt like I had the job.
BB: New program, new school, what's that been like three years in?
JL: It's hard work. It's a lot of hard work. The girls are getting better, we are still young. I had a lot of help from people that had done it before. I called people that had started programs and (asked) what all I needed to buy. I did all the ordering and purchasing for our gymnasium as far as the scorer's table and the chairs and that stuff. I was able to pick out our uniforms and our practice gear and things like that. That was all very exciting.
That first year, it was a lot of ... stress. I probably didn't eat for ... I don't know, a lot of stress. We won eight games and I felt really good about that. The second year we jumped up to AAAAA competition and we really couldn't compete and we only won three games last year. It was a struggle.
BB: Ordering the uniforms must have been neat. Did you get to design them? Are you responsible for how they look?
JL: We had some help from the athletic director and, of course, we were trying to use some of the school logos and stuff. But we picked the uniforms and the design and had a little bit of help with the logos.
It was awesome. And the uniforms, the girls still like them to this day. We are wearing the Under Armour, they still look good and are wearing well and all that stuff.
BB: Under Armour stuff does look good. It's expensive though.
JL: We are still in debt. That is the bad part of opening up a new school because of the debt that comes with it.
BB: When you spent 10 years as an assistant or away from coaching, did you learn or become a better coach?
JL: I learned a lot working for Cass Cassell. He was the guru of coming up with a new play for every game. He had the eye of seeing stuff that I had never even thought of seeing. He was always coming up with new offenses to fit with what the defense was running. To put in new plays and put in new stuff.
BB: Were you a basketball player?
JL: In high school, I played three varsity sports. I played fastpitch softball, soccer and basketball. In college, I played basketball at Tift College and Mercer University.
BB: What position?
JL: I was a guard, a shooting guard. People always thought I was a point guard because I could handle the ball well, but I was a shooting guard.
BB: You took some time off from coaching; do you sometimes miss the free time? Less late nights?
JL: No, I don't. When spring comes and that is my chance to go home but I still don't ever go home early. I enjoy my job and being around the kids and it's all for the kids. That is one thing I definitely did learn from when I first started coaching till now. That maturity is that it is really for the kids. It's not for me, it's not for the parents, it's for the kids. And it's the things they are going to remember when they are older.
BB: You watch a lot of women's basketball, do you find that your players are watching the games?
JL: I think they do. I think they also follow the WNBA. I have taken them to see some WNBA games as well (as Georgia women's games) and I am a season ticket holder.BB: High school girls must be a good draw for the WNBA.
JL: I think it is. I think they enjoy it. They get to see (the game at a high level).
BB: Away from basketball, what are your other interests?
JL: What else do I enjoy? Well, I guess you could say 2009 was a good year for me. I had an opportunity to purchase a lake house up on Lake Lanier and I had the opportunity to take this job. So 2009 is a very memorable year. I spend a lot of time up on Lake Lanier. Boating, water skiing. I play ALTA tennis.
BB: So, active.
JL: Yes, very active. At school I teach aroebics and do aerobics and stuff with the girls. I always played something. Ten years ago I was playing soccer competitively in a women's soccer league because my knees couldn't handle basketball anymore. Then I picked up tennis.
BB: As a Dream season ticket holder, did you go to any of the playoff games?
JL: I went to the final game when we lost. I had such a busy schedule. Plus that was extra money to buy those tickets. That was fun. It was a good game.
BB: It looked like it was a good atmosphere.
JL: The atmosphere was wonderful for the playoff games. And even during the season, when (former Collins Hill player) Maya (Moore) came there was a pretty big crowd.
BB: You coached against her in high school. That had to be familiar to watch.
JL: She is still a dominant player. It was very interesting to watch.
BB: You said you stopped playing; you don't even mix it up during practice some?
JL: I'll grab a ball and shoot around and stuff.
BB: You still have the touch?
JL: Oh, I still have the touch. It's just not one of my competitive sports any more.