College women’s basketball: Stacy Deadrick of St. Scholastica looks back on 27 years at the helm of her alma mater
All it takes is a simple math: 27 (years) x 15 (players per season) = 405.
And that’s just as a coach. Deadrick has also made an impact in an administrative role, and now she is resigning from her coaching position to take on an administrative role, the school said Thursday.
“I am very excited about the opportunity,” said Deadrick. “It’s bittersweet sometimes to let go of something you’ve loved to do for so long, but at the same time, I think it’s time to hang up and let someone else take the helm.”
Deadrick, an Esko native and CSS alumnus, is one of Northland’s deans of college coaches. She has won 324 coaching victories in 27 years at the helm of the Saints. She coached the Saints in their first appearance in an NCAA Division III tournament in 2012-13. The following season, Deadrick won the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference Coach of the Year honors after leading the Saints to a record 11 conference wins while tied for second-highest. total number of victories (16) in his tenure at St. Scholastica.
In her new role, Deadrick, 53, will be Deputy Director of Athletics Facilities and Events Management, Senior Women Administrator and Title IX Assistant.
“We are fortunate to keep Stacy’s knowledge and history within our department,” Acting Athletic Director Merissa Edwards said in a statement. “She has been a valuable asset to Saints athletics for several decades. Stacy will forever be linked to the women’s basketball program, not only as a player, but also as a legendary coach in women’s athletics.
The move coincides with St. Scholastica’s transition from the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference to the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The first official Saints Day in MIAC was July 1.
“An opportunity presented itself to me to join MIAC, taking into account our administrative structure,” said Deadrick. “A full-time job was presented to me and I made the decision to jump into the full-time administrative role. As sad as it may be to give up training I had a lot to do so I think that was the direction I needed to take to help the process and the transition to MIAC.
Deadrick said most people don’t realize everything she’s done administratively. She has served the past few years as an assistant athletic director and has served at least the past 15 years as a senior administrator of the Saints’ women. She has helped with the hiring and search of coaches and has often been seen helping out at the Reif Gymnasium with men’s basketball games.
“Sometimes I felt like I had two jobs, so when they created the opportunity to do one full time I thought it was the right thing to do,” said Deadrick. “I think it was fair for the team to have a head coach who would coach and then me in an administrative role.”
That doesn’t mean it was easy. The end of July is probably not a good time to lose your head basketball coach and find a quality replacement.
MIAC is a more competitive league than UMAC, and the Saints enter without having had a winning season since their 14-12 and 9-7 in UMAC in 2017-18. This streak of three consecutive losing seasons includes an unusual 0-9 and 0-6 rating last season, but what was characteristic of last year?
Deadrick said that the fact that she’s not going anywhere will help everyone acclimatize. But while she doesn’t even change offices, she said it was definitely different.
“I’ve never had to do this for 27 years. It’s like moving on to another job, so you have to talk to everyone throughout the process, ”Deadrick said. “That was the difficult part, talking to the staff who were dedicated to the program and trying to explain the transition… it was difficult, but the responses from the players were only understanding. They know we’re all in this transition together, and because I’m still here I can help with this transition, and they know they’ll be taken care of.
Deadrick, then Pelletier, played at Sainte-Scholastique from 1987 to 1991. She was part of the 1987-88 National Championship team of the National Little College Athletic Association of the Saints and ended her playing career at CSS as as the program leader in interceptions (436) and currently ranks fifth in assists (265) and 11th in scorers (1,036 points).
Just three years after graduating from St. Scholastica in 1991, she was back as the Saints’ women’s basketball coach. She’s been there every year since.
Deadrick said she had only received support and kindness from the St. Scholastica community, especially her former players. She said they had promised to reunite for the alumni game every year and were more than willing and eager to meet and support the new manager.
“It makes me so excited and proud to know that we’ve done things the right way,” Deadrick said when reached by phone Thursday night. “There were a lot of smiles and tears today with the text messages and emails I received from former players and coaches being broadcast.
“I cannot express the incredible gratitude and gratitude for all the kind words sent to me. This has been one of those things, for which you are not sure the answer, but after today it has reinforced why I have loved coaching for 27 years because the people I have coached are simply amazing human beings.