Getting to know women’s basketball coach Ryan McCarthy

Ryan McCarthy (Photo courtesy of The Alaska Anchorage Seawolves Facebook)

The Seawolf women’s basketball team ended last year nationally ranked. Led by longtime coach Tim Moser, they were nearly unstoppable with a record of 30 wins and five losses.

Between coach Moser’s departure earlier this year and the hiring and resignation of head coach Nathan Altenhofen, it’s been a rollercoaster ride for the women’s basketball program.

New head coach Ryan McCarthy, however, is up to filling big shoes.

McCarthy was born in Anchorage at Providence Hospital, but lived in Chugiak until he was about twelve years old.

“I grew up watching the Seawolves play and going to the Shootout,” McCarthy said. “I learned how to ice skate right here at the UAA ice rink and shot hoops on the courts here as well.”

McCarthy played basketball at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho from 2002-2006, followed by a professional career overseas in Germany.

“I really enjoyed it,” he said. “As a little kid it was something I always dreamed of.”

Playing basketball in Germany influenced McCarthy’s decision to go into coaching. He said it gave him the “coaching bug.”

McCarthy described why the fans should be excited about the women’s team under his watch.

“Our players are really going to work hard,” he said. “We’re going todefend,andwe’regoingtopush the pace of the game.”

McCarthy looks to lead the new team with a fast-paced style of basketball that is fun to watch. The players will look to create as many turnovers as possible, and he ensures that they’ll score plenty of points.

This year’s team does have a smaller roster and less returning players, but these are things coach McCarthy looks at as advantages.

“Coach Moser did a good job of creating a national powerhouse,” he said. “To me, this is an opportunity to build it back to where it was and put my own signature on it.”

Considering the talent level in the GNAC conference, McCarthy feels that any of the top six or seven teams can beat each other on any given night. “Our players, I believe, night in and night out have a chance to win,” he said.

Senior guard Sasha King and senior forward Alysa Horn are two of the top returnees for the team this year.

“They’ve got a lot of minutes, they’ve won a lot of games, and they’ve got a lot of hardware next to their names,” McCarthy said.

The new look Seawolves have a great chance to show the changes McCarthy has made as they face a competitive field of teams in this year’s Shootout.

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