New WWU basketball coach introduced at Meet and Greet on Wednesday
Sept. 6, 2012
BELLINGHAM, Wash. -
By DAVID RASBACH, SPORTS EDITOR, THE BELLINGHAM HERALD
New Western Washington University interim men's basketball coach Tony Dominguez admits he loves a challenge.
And he's got a pretty big one in front of him.
Not only is he replacing legendary coach Brad Jackson, who left the program to take an assistant coaching position down Interstate 5 at the University of Washington, Dominguez is doing it in a season the Vikings are coming off their first national championship in program history.
"This was going to be a fun year, no matter how you look at it," Dominguez said. "Coming off a national championship, we've never tried to repeat before. This is a challenge, and I'm excited for it."
Evidently, so is the rest of the WWU family.
Three weeks after he took over the program, Dominguez got a chance to shake hands, share laughs, receive congratulations and, yes, even talk a little basketball on the first night of the NFL season with a packed room of Vikings fans, friends and family at a meet and greet event on Wednesday, Sept. 5, at the Bellingham Golf and Country Club.
Truth be told, there probably weren't that many new faces that Dominguez got to meet on Wednesday, as he's been an assistant coach with the program for the past 17 seasons.
"Tony has been here so long, and it just seemed natural that he could step in and do this job," WWU vice president of enrollment and student affairs Eileen Coughlin said. "We know he's capable of being a good leader, and we're excited to see him use those qualities. It was a great opportunity for Brad to go down to UW, and this is a great opportunity for Tony."
And nobody helped prepare Dominguez better for that opportunity than the man he'll be replacing.
"Over the years, Coach Jackson did a good job of passing a lot of the responsibilities off to me, and letting me try different things," Dominguez said. "Most of the things I'm responsible for now, I've already had experience doing. The biggest difference now, though, is I don't have Coach Jackson to go run things by."
Dominguez said he's enjoyed the first three weeks leading the program, calling them "power packed."
But he's definitely got the support of the WWU basketball supporters, who have watched him mature with the program.
He even took the opportunity on Wednesday to talk a little bit about the team's recruiting class.
"He's a great guy," said Jan McDonald, who has been a season ticket holder for the past 18 seasons and already has her tickets to go to Western's game against Duke on Oct. 27 in Raleigh, N.C. "We know that he is going to do good at this."
That's the kind of community support Dominguez said he has been receiving since he took the position on Aug. 20.
"It's been incredible," Dominguez said. "We've been a part of this community for over 20 years, and my wife teaches school here. I'm involved in a lot of organizations in the community, and we've been getting a ton of support. It's been overwhelming - not just in the business community, but random people coming up and congratulating me. It really makes me feel good to be a part of this all, and hopefully we can do well for them."
The 2012-13 season starts with an exhibition game against Jackson and the Huskies on Oct. 24 in Seattle, with the regular-season opener scheduled for Nov. 9 against Multnomah at Sam Carver Gymnasium.
"I think it's great to see Tony take over the program," longtime booster Wayne Young said. "I think he's done most of the recruiting, so he knows these guys, and he's going to do a great job."
Western Washington Vikings Sidebar Links
|Email this article||Printer-friendly format|