Alliance Coach Spotlight: Dr. Julie Shaw

7 Questions with Dr. Julie Shaw

Dr. Julie Shaw, formerly an assistant coach at Gonzaga University, has just completed her fourth season as the head coach of the University of La Verne women’s basketball team.

1. Why is the Alliance important to you?
It’s important because it has provided me with so many opportunities to connect with coaches in an environment that is supportive, motivating, and inspiring. The Alliance has truly helped me see all that I am capable of as a leading woman in athletics.

2. What was your defining moment in coaching?
When I was coaching in high school and one of my players ran down the court and was smiling ear to ear at me after she did an up and under (a move we had been working on) and scored.

3. Who is the most inspiring woman coach in your career?
Coach Faith Mimnaugh hands down. She gave me my first opportunity as a Division I assistant, encouraged and supported me in pursuing my masters and doctoral degree, was a mother figure, a shoulder to cry on, taught me that you can love your players and still win, and has been one of my biggest mentors, she let me coach and create in her program, and she has always been a friend.

4. What would you tell people considering joining the Alliance?
To do it! It has been a major part of my career, provided me with education and tools to assist me in advancing not only in the coaching world but in life. It’s really about the people that you will meet and will be connected to. Especially when you take advantage of the NCAA Coaches Academy you will create a bond not only with your classmates, but with all the Academy grads that have come before you and will come after you. It truly is something special. So if you are looking for that “thing”, that “professional development, that “network”… this is what you are looking for.

5. You have your doctorate. Tell us about how that has helped define you as a coach.
My pursuit of my doctorate began when I realized not many people, women, and women of color had their terminal degree. I saw this as a way to compete and I think in hindsight I wanted to be a role model. I wanted to break that stereotype of “dumb jock” or you’re JUST a coach. I knew and know I am more than that. I think it’s helped define me by showing that I can and will do the work, that I want to motivate and show the young women that I work with that they can reach high, and it’s defined me in the world of athletics because at times I admit when I lead with the title Dr. it gives me access to sit at the table.

6. Where is your hometown?
Riverside, CA

7. What is your favorite vacation ever?
I love to travel so this may be the hardest question on here! I have been to Thailand, Bali, Australia, Philippines, played professionally in Portugal, Jamaica, and criss-crossed the states, BUT I think I have to say after I graduated college I went back packing across Europe with my teammates for a month. We still talk about all the stories of getting lost, mistranslations, and fun times we had together. I think it shows the power of sports and the bonds you make with teammates. Oh to be young again!