By Jess Green
After playing well against the alumni on Saturday, the Skylights look to enter a season with a new coach and a change in direction. Coach Kevin Emerick arrived in Havre at the end of August. He brings Joan Steffen, his assistant coach, and a new attitude to Skylight basketball.
Raised on a farm in central Illinois, Emerick not only enjoys basketball, but the outdoors as well.
Emerick played basketball at Blackhawk East Junior College in Ill. and at Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He recieved a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice from Mount Mercy College where he began his coaching career. While at Mount Mercy College, the women's team made the National Tounament four times and had two appearances in the final four.
After Mount Mercy, he went to the University of Wisconsin-Platteville (UW-Platteville) and then to NCAA Division II Oklahoma Panhandle State University (OPSU). He turned the struggling women's programs around at both OPSU and UW-Platteville giving them winning seasons before moving on.
He comes to Northern after serving as a coach and as the Athletic director at OPSU.
While at Mount Mercy he had to always anticipate and prepare for the the possibility of meeting the Skylights in the championships. He had an opportunity to see the Skylights at home in the early 90's and because of a packed house was barely able to get in to scout the team.
"The fan support here is one of the best in the country," Emerick said.
National recognition for himself and the school is is a big reason that Emerick was attracted to Northern.
"It is a place to win," the coach said.
To start the year, the coach says he is impressed with the depth of his players.
"Everybody can play," Emerick said.
In fact, he went on to say that he saw no "gaping holes" or weaknesses in the team as of yet. He identified the importance of staying healthy and said that if they can, the Skylight should be competive in every game.
"We should be fun to watch," Emerick said, "we play an entertaining style ."
The Skylights play their first game on Oct. 30 at the University of Calgary Dinos. Their first home game will be at 5 p.m. on Nov 4 versus the Minot State University Beavers.