Shiloh school administrators were looking for someone with the versatility to challenge a team both athletically and academically as the school’s new head girls basketball coach.
And they seem to have found just what they were looking for in Regina Tate, who was introduced to the players as their new coach Friday.
A former two-sport standout at Shaw High School in her native Columbus and at Georgia Tech, the 35-year-old Tate has spent the last seven seasons as head girls basketball coach at Pace Academy in Atlanta, where she has guided the Knights to a 106-67 record that has included a trip to the Class A state tournament every season.
But just as important, according to Shiloh athletics director Mike Cammack is her commitment to academics.
A former valedictorian of her high school class, Tate also holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Tech, as well as two master’s degrees.
“We had a lot of good applicants, and at the time there were a lot of jobs open (in Gwinnett County), Cammack said. “We contacted Regina, and she was very receptive. What I really like about her is she’s all about relationships and getting the job done. She sounds like a players coach, but she also sounds tough, too.
“She’s done a real good job at Pace. … With her background and commitment to academics, and with the girls we’ve got coming back, we believe we’ve got somebody who will make sure they keep working on exhibiting (excellence both athletically and academically).”
And Tate sees just as much potential in the Shiloh program.
What’s more important, according to Tate, is the competitive spirit she sees at Shiloh, an important trait to someone who earned third-team All-ACC honors her senior year at Tech and was a four-year letter winner for the Jackets on the court, and a two-year letter winner for the Yellow Jackets’ track and field team.
“I wanted to be somewhere where the investment in girls athletics was such that they wanted to be successful,” said Tate, who will also help coach in Shiloh track and field program. “They want (the girls teams) to be competitive, and my background supports that as a mission.”
That mission will be a difficult one competing in a region as tough as 8-AAAAAA, which features the reigning Class AAAAAA state runner-up in Archer and perennial powerhouse Parkview.
But the Generals took a step forward this past season, improving five wins from the previous year by posting an 8-16 record.
And Tate says she senses from her brief meeting with the team that the players are ready to step up to a higher level of competitiveness.
“It’s big-time basketball (in Region 8-AAAAAA),” Tate said. “I don’t expect it to happen in a year, but what I do expect is a level of work ethic and commitment to getting there. If we do that, we can be very competitive.
“I did meet about 20 (players on Friday), and what’s most important to them is they’re ready for a fresh start, and they’re ready for the next level of competition.”