MARION — Maybe it’s a risk, hiring a 23-year-old with no head-coaching experience.
But, says Linn-Mar Associate Athletics Director Tonya Moe, it’s a risk worth taking.
“It’s a risk that I feel will have a high reward,” Moe said Wednesday morning, after announcing the hiring of former Linn-Mar and University of Iowa player Jaime Printy as the school’s varsity girls’ basketball coach. “She has all the tools to be successful.”
The third-leading scorer in Iowa history with 1,841 points, Printy was the 2010 Big Ten freshman of the year and an Associated Press All-American honorable-mention selection in 2011. She helped the Hawkeyes to four NCAA tournaments from 2010 through 2013.
A 2009 Linn-Mar graduate, she returned to Linn-Mar last season as an assistant under Michael Brandt.
In March, Brandt resigned after 13 seasons.
With a wedding coming up — scheduled for Aug. 16, the day after her 24th birthday — Printy was hesitant to throw her hat in the ring.
“I entered the race a little late,” she acknowledged. “But after I talked to Coach Brandt, all the pieces kind of fell in place. I love basketball and I love Linn-Mar.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled or more excited.”
According to Iowa assistant coach Jan Jensen, Printy’s youth and coaching inexperience won’t factor against her.
“She is so smart,” Jensen said. “Most kids, when you’re running a play, they know what their position is supposed to do. Jaime knows the role of all five positions.
“If you’re going to take a chance on somebody young, she’s a calculated risk that you can take a chance on. I think she’ll be highly successful.”
Printy graduated from Iowa in 2013 with a degree in recreation and sports business. She is currently going back to school to earn her education degree.
As a player at Linn-Mar, Printy scored 1,391 career points, was a three-time first-team all-stater and the 2009 Gatorade state player of the year.
In her three injury-free seasons (she tore an ACL early in her sophomore season), the Lions compiled a 66-8 record, won three MVC divisional titles and advanced to state three times.
The Lions were quarterfinalists in 2006, semifinalists in 2008 and 2009.
“She’s a winner,” Jensen said.
Linn-Mar was 15-9 last season. The Lions return key players in Olivia Montague and Nikita Sharma next season.
Printy said her decision is about “more than basketball.
“I want to be a role model for these girls. I know what they’ve been through. I want to teach them values and morals.”
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