Jul 02, 2010
This pretty much describes Western New England College assistant women’s basketball coach and athletic administration assistant Dave Proulx who is preparing for another championship run at the Massachusetts Summer Bay State Games that will be held July 8-11 in Boston.
Proulx will coach the high school division West girl’s basketball team who captured the gold medal at last year’s games with a thrilling 66-61 win over Coastal to go undefeated (6-0) throughout the tournament.
“It’s a completely unique styled tournament,” said Proulx. “I think it’s pretty cool that these kids get to go to Boston and have the opportunity to represent the area that they’re from.”
The Bay State Games are in their 29th year of competition with over 8,000 athletes from 300 cities and towns state wide participating in 29 sports. Teams are split into six different regions, which include the West, Coastal, Central, Metro, Northeast, and Southeast.
Proulx began his Bay State coaching career as an assistant in 2008 as the West won the silver medal. The following year he took over as the head coach and unlike regular coaching positions, this one is completely voluntary.
“I love the competition and I love the sport, but I also like every part that goes with the job,” said Proulx. “I love watching film and games, and recruiting. I think what’s bigger than basketball is I like having the opportunity of using basketball to teach kids life skills.”
Prior to Western New England College, Proulx coached for two years in the Mass Frenzy AAU Organization (2008-09) and served as an assistant coach of the Agawam High School girls' varsity program (2007-09) as well as being the coach of the junior varsity team.
The 2006 Boston University graduate first became interested in coaching while he volunteered as the manager of the men’s basketball team from 2004-06. Proulx has always been interested in sports as he was a tri-sport athlete in soccer, basketball, and baseball at East Longmeadow High School.
“When I was at BU, I just found myself wanting to be in the gym everyday. I’ve always loved basketball more than anything and at that point, I thought, I could use being a part of BU’s program to prepare me to become a coach,” he said.
After learning the trade with the guys playing style, when asked why he ended up coaching girl’s basketball Proulx explained, “I kind of fell into it, but now I can’t imagine going back.
“When I moved back to Springfield for Grad school, I knew I wanted to get into coaching and looked at the vacancies in The (Springfield) Republican. It was in the beginning of November so the season was only a month away,” he recalled.
“Agawam posted a JV boy’s basketball position, so I sent in my resume. Lou Conte (the former athletic director) sent me an email back saying that there was a misunderstanding and the boy’s position was already filled. The one I applied for was actually for the girl’s program and he asked if I was still interested. I knew while I was in high school that Agawam had a strong program so I took it.”
Proulx’s passion for basketball makes it the perfect job for him and he also finds it very rewarding. His players from the 2009 West squad will be off attending schools such as Western New England College, UMass-Lowell, Westfield State, and Wesleyan University.
As for a head coaching job someday at the collegiate level, that’s certainly not out of the question.
“I would love to be a (college) head coach,” said Proulx. “I love the Division III philosophy of athletics. I think it’s really important for you to like your job and I couldn’t imagine a better job than that.”