On this day, she and her husband, Frank, a volunteer assistant with the Richmond program and boys coach at Rohanen Middle School, are conducting a basketball camp at FirstHealth Fitness Center.
“I enjoy doing this,” Harrington said during a break in the camp. “The earlier kids can learn the fundamentals, the better.”
Harrington coached the Lady Raiders on an interim basis last season, taking over the job when previous coach David Laton moved over to take the men’s job.
Harrington led Richmond to one of its best seasons in years. The Lady Raiders posted an 18-5 overall record, finished second in the Southeastern Conference and advanced to the second round of the Class 4A playoffs.
That showing was a strong argument for Harrington to be given the job on a permanent basis. And school officials apparently felt that way, as well: She was named permanent coach recently.
Harrington is looking forward to the upcoming season. Now that she knows she’s the permanent coach, she plans to keep the program headed in the right direction.
“I learned a lot last year,” Harrington said. “It was kind of on-the-job training, but I feel like it left me better prepared for this year.”
Harrington is no stranger to coaching basketball: She has been coaching for over 20 years, with stints at Rockingham, Ellerbe and Rohanen middle schools.
She was the Richmond Senior J.V. coach before taking over the varsity program last year.
That long history means she knows many of the girls coming up through the program.
And camps like this week’s are a good way to build a strong fundamental foundation at an early age, Harrington said.
“By the time they get to the high school, they’ll know me, and what to expect,” Harrington said.
Fall practice doesn’t start until Oct. 15, but the team is already looking forward to 2010-11, with offseason workouts, weightlifting and open gyms.
Harrington’s team will have to replace all-SEC selection LaShey Brown and point guard Torrie Ingram, two key players last season. But a strong returning core, including Demi Watkins, I’Teionna McLaughlin and Shaquitta Covington, will be supplemented by some promising newcomers.
Covington is on the mend from surgery to repair a torn ACL suffered late last season. She’s been cleared by doctors and should be ready for the 2010-11 season, Harrington said.
Harrington is assisted by Toni Brown. Frank helps out on nights when his boys’ team isn’t playing.
The new season can’t come soon enough for Harrington.
“I wish the season started tomorrow,” Harrington said with a big smile. “I’m ready to go.”
Contact sports editor David Vantress at 997-3111, ext. 14 or via email at email@example.com.