Coach Allison Coleman guides her student-athletes during the women's basketball 2019-2020 season opener against Albertus Magnus College. Photo:Matt Milless.

Coach Allison Coleman guides her student-athletes during the women’s basketball 2019-2020 season opener against Albertus Magnus College. Photo: Matt Milless.

When Coach Allison Coleman was playing college basketball, she was, simply put, a star: the only four-time All-America in women’s collegiate basketball history, a Division III national player of the year, and a member of the New England Basketball Hall of Fame.

Often, it seems, great players don’t make great coaches, because they don’t understand why others can’t achieve all that they were able to achieve. Coach Coleman breaks that mold into a million pieces. Coaching has become the love of her life. Working with her players, helping them to get better, has become her driving passion.

She found that passion when her college basketball coach asked her, six years after she’d graduated, to come back and serve as an assistant coach. “That’s when I saw something that I hadn’t seen when I was playing. My old coach didn’t just know her X’s and O’s, she really knew her players. She really cared about her players. A lot. And I came to know that’s who I wanted to be. That kind of person. That kind of coach.”

Coach Coleman also remembers her college coach saying to her once: “I don’t love you because you score points. I love you because of who you are.”

She now understands that idea, in a way she couldn’t have understood it back then. “The very best thing that can happen for me,” she says, “is after one of my player’s graduates she gets in touch to invite me to her wedding. That means I’ve made an impact. That’s success. They know how much I cared about them.”

Coach Coleman says Sage has made it easy for her to succeed, on multiple levels. “It’s very hard to fail here, because there are so many levels of support. For coaches and players. Everybody is in your corner. I don’t think there is anyplace else that can match our people. Or match our fans.”

In other words, Coach Coleman still feels like a big time winner.