COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The first assistant coach to be added to Jim Davis’ women’s basketball staff at Tennessee Tech is someone the veteran coach is familiar with on several platforms – she played for him at Clemson and coached against him at Towson State. Erin Batth, an assistant coach at Towson State for the past two years, joins the Golden Eagles and brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience.
“Erin is so detail orientated and so organized. She’ll be a great asset for our staff. She’ll work with the post players for us, working with our bigs. She’s got a wonderful personality and makes a great first impression,” said Davis of his new assistant.
Working alongside her former coach, Batth knew that it will be a challange.
"He’s going to demand quite a bit," Batth said. "Coach Davis is very rarely satisfied. He just keeps wanting more. I’m up for the challenge, and I see the big picture."
When Batth got the call from Davis asking to interview for his new assitant position, she knew this wasn't an opportunity she could pass up.
"Every time I've gotten a new position, coach Davis has always been the common denominator," she said. "He's such a Dad figure. It's such an honor for him to think of me. This decision was a no brainer. I’ve always wanted to be a recruiting coordinator, and who better to do it under than my mentor. For him to come out of retirement is awesome because basketball just does something to your soul. For him to want to do this again and have me involved, let’s do it."
It was evident that Batth was excited to be a part of the Golden Eagle program.
"The fan base is ridiculous. The administration is awesome. To be a part of such a strong winning tradition, it’s a really wonderful atmosphere," she said. "I couldn’t ask for a better place to come to work. It’s not even work, it’s something I love to do."
“Erin's enthusiasm just jumps out at you. Very high energy, she can get down on the players' level and relate, being a former player. She knows my style, my demeanor. She’ll be a great asset to our players in counseling. Erin will really tell what I look for in a player.”
Batth was a player for Davis at Clemson from 1997 to 2001. In 1999 she helped lead the Tigers to the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship, and the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA Tournament, one of four tournament appearances for Davis' teams. Batth ended her career by entering the Clemson record books as the first player in school history to be drafted by the WNBA.
Davis said Batth brings key qualities to the position.
“Technical knowledge is important but not the most important quality. It is the ability to get along with others. Relationships are what this business is all about. Erin has a warm personality and a smile that will knock you off your feet. We wanted someone that has the character, someone that will make a lasting impression on these young ladies lives. Loyalty is very important quality in any assistant, Erin’s an Eagle through and through.”
"Why I coach: it has nothing to do with X's and O’s in basketball. My job is to make sure that they leave TTU complete. As young women, I want to set the example, be available, be an ear. Basketball is an absolute plus, but I think I’ll be able to develop our post players. It’s really getting the best out of our players. Really letting them feel like they’ve accomplished something. I want to have that connection with my players and help them work through their days, and prepare them for life. Those four or five years of college really mold them into who they are as women," Batth said of her strenghs. Recruiting is another strong point. I know I can develop the players. I know I can get these girls to buy into Coach Davis. I’m able to get it done. I hope I can help them create a bond to help them win championships."
At Townson State Batth was involved in all aspects of the basketball program, including the growth and development of the Tiger post players. She was also involved in all aspects of recruiting, monitoring student athletes in the classroom and on the court, scouting opponents, organizing community service opportunities and managing the summer camps.
Batth is excited to get involved in the Cookeville community.
"I am all about the community. I come from Clemson, which is a small community. I’m excited to get back into the atmosphere. It’s such a high. I’m so excited for the girls and to coach. I want to be very much involved and you will see me in Cookeville. You have to give back, you have to pull others up to your level. I hope to get a special group of people coming to our games. I am confident that the more we get the Tech name out there, the greater the following. We belong to the community and I want to see the stands filled. I see the future, I see us out there quite a bit. We already have a few ideas in the works to get the community in the Golden Eagle basketball family."
Coach Davis spoke highly of her extra duties off the court.
“Erin is an outstanding young lady. She’ll be out in community speaking, and also doing clinics. When she walks in the gym she commands respect. She can’t hide because of her size and she’s noticed. She carries herself well. She will have a strong presence in the community.”
As far as the rest of the Tech staff, Coach Davis is looking forward to the chemistry bubbling off the court.
“There’s an old saying ‘People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.’ Every member of our staff will be able to show how much they care: they care about Tech, about the players. When we get the whole staff together it will be special.”
After graduation Batth continued her playing career in the WNBA, originally drafted to the Cleveland Rockers, but joining the San Antonio Silver Stars and finally becoming a Sacramento Monarch. Batth has also played abroad playing for Panathanikos, one of Greece’s premier athletic programs, as well as Apollon in Greece and Migros in Turkey.
Her coaching career began at Virginia Commonwealth, where she was in charge of the development of the Rams’ post players. From there she moved to the West Coast spending time with the WNBA’s Sacramento Monarchs working in basketball operations along with the NBA’s Sacramento Kings. She assisted in the NBA War Room during the drafts and provided support for the general managers and coaches. She also served as a liaison between the league offices and the teams. While in Sacramento, Batth was given the opportunity to work with John Wisenant, former GM of the Sacramento Monarchs and current Head coach of the N.Y. Liberty, T.R. Dunn, Elston Turner as well as Scotty Brooks, who is the current head coach of the Oklahoma Thunder, among others.
Returning back to the state of Virginia, Batth served as the director of women’s basketball operations of three years at the University of Virginia under Hall of Fame Coach Debbie Ryan. Batth was in charge of the Cavalier Classic Tournament and also managed the budget, team travel and community service opportunities. The Cavalier teams advanced to the NCAA Tournament each of the three years that Batth was at UVA.