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Tourney stop serves as a homecoming for Achter

03/25/2014, 12:15am EDT
By JOHN WAGNER BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Bonnies’ coach was BGSU standout

BOWLING GREEN — It’s only natural that young coaches learn habits, traits, and sayings from those who have coached them.

And former Bowling Green State University standout Kate Achter is no exception.

“I catch myself stomping on the bench occasionally,” Achter admitted, referencing a habit former BG coach Curt Miller is well known for. “I need to stop that.”

Achter returned to Bowling Green on Monday as an associate coach for the St. Bonaventure women’s basketball team that lost to the Falcons in a Women’s NIT game at the Stroh Center.

“They are all good emotions,” Achter said before the contest of her return. “We are fortunate to be playing games in March, and what better place to experience March basketball than Bowling Green.”

Achter played for the Falcons from 2004-08 and led BG to three Mid-American Conference titles. She was voted the MAC player of the year as a senior and is the program’s all-time leader with 688 assists.

After playing professionally in Greece for one season, she got her first full-time job as an assistant coach at St. Bonaventure in 2010-11.

“We played against Bowling Green when she was a player here,” Bonnies head coach Jim Crowley said. “She made some incredible plays to beat us her senior year, and I was impressed by her.

“When we had a coaching opening, we reached out to a couple of coaches we knew and respected — and Curt was one of them. He spoke highly of her. … I saw her work ethic as a player, and if you’re willing to work in this profession you will be good. And she is very good.”

This past season she was promoted to associate head coach, making her Crowley’s top assistant.

“She absolutely earned it,” Crowley said. “She had chances to go to other places, but she stayed loyal to our program and our kids.

“It was time for that progression.”

Achter called her time at St. Bonaventure a “roller coaster.”

“My first two years we were good; we went to the WNIT my first year and the next year we went to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen,” she said. “Last year we weren’t as fortunate; we brought in six freshmen, and there’s always a learning curve. …

“This year we’re on the way back up, and it has been a positive experience.”

Achter, who graduated from Clay High School, said she was only able to spend a little time with her parents Sunday.

“This was a business trip,” she said.

After the contest, which the Falcons won 76-65, BG coach Jennifer Roos — who was Miller’s top assistant when Achter played for the Falcons — shared a hug with her former player.

“That wasn’t fun,” Roos said afterward. “Any time you play against friends – and I am proud to call that staff friends — it’s hard. It’s emotional. …

“I’m glad this game is over.”

Contact John Wagner at: jwagner@theblade.com, 419-724-6481 or on Twitter @jwagnerblade.

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