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Dublin High School Alum Trisha Campbell Leads Lady Gaels Basketball to 20-2 Record

February 7, 2015
Gaels Coach Trisha Campbell

Dublin High Lady Gaels Coach Trisha Campbell

“If you get caught up in things over which you have no control, it will adversely affect those things over which you have control.” – John Wooden. These words were spoken by the legendary collegiate basketball coach at UCLA over four decades ago. However, as one of the most revered coaches and teachers in the 20th century, these words continue to resonate with truth today. They seem to serve as a great lesson for not only current students, but for all of us. The 2014-15 Dublin High School Lady Gaels Varsity basketball team has been enjoying an unprecedentedly successful season. At the time of publication, they have compiled an eye-popping 20-2 season record. In some ways, it is even more impressive than what their profession counterparts, the Golden State Warriors, have achieved this year.

Dublin High Lady Gaels

Dublin High Lady Gaels Varsity Basketball

What makes the story even more endearing is that the teams head coach Trisha Campbell is a Dublin High School Class of 2006 Alumnus. She lettered in Varsity basketball in all four years during her tenure. Upon graduation, she completed a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Davis. While it wasn’t her preordained path, she embraced the subject of Psychology and felt that this might create a pathway for her to support younger people. She decided to pursue a Teaching Credential from Brandman University and completed it in 2012. Thereupon, she began employment with DUSD and has been teaching freshman and junior level English at Dublin High. Ms. Campbell is also a continuing student on a path to complete a M.S. in Sport Psychology from Capella University which she expects to conclude in 2017. The path of returning to work at ones alma mater is not completely unprecedented. There are several examples present on the campus today. However, what makes this story unique has been Trisha’s opportunity to share her wisdom and passion for the game of basketball with a new generation of student athletes. recently had the opportunity to sit down with Trisha Campbell. We hoped to capture both her experiences as a DHS student and what it means to return as a teacher and coach.  As college application season recently concluded, please share your thought process and ultimate decision to attend U.C. Davis.  Any regrets about not continuing your athletic career?

Trisha Campbell: “I felt honored being accepted to one of the University of California campuses and could not turn it down. I was focused on receiving a good education and put aside my desire to play college basketball. It will always be one of my biggest regrets not playing in college. It is a privilege and a once in a lifetime experience and I will always wish that I’d played.” You were fortunate to be coached as a junior and senior by a local legend in Mark Wainwright.  As you further you coaching career, what are some of his lessons/philosophies that you embrace and share with your current players?

Campbell: “Learning under Mark Wainwright gave me a great foundation of what it takes to coach high school basketball. Mark always pushed his players to play hard, no matter what the score, and I always tell my players the same; leave it all out on the floor. He always believed that one practice rolled over to the next and how you finish a game rolls over the next and I see that every day. I encourage them to practice hard and play hard in every game.” Your professional and educational aspirations are on a dual track as you pursue a M.S. in Sport Psychology.  You had mentioned the importance of the mental aspect of the game.  Please be specific and discuss what this really means.

Dublin High School Lady Gaels Basketball 3Campbell: “You can prepare physically to play in a game. You can work on your skills and condition for an unlimited amount of hours, and I believe the same holds true for building your mental toughness in a game. What you tell yourself in a game and how you respond to situations indicates a player’s toughness. If you get down on yourself for a turnover or a missed shot, you are working against yourself. Instead, acknowledge what you did and get it back in a positive way on the next position. This could be playing tough, hard defense or supporting and encouraging your teammates. Ultimately, how you respond is a mental decision. I tell me players to control what you can control and that is yourself. You can’t control the mistakes in the past, you can’t control the refs or the fans, but you can control the way you play and what you tell yourself. Mental toughness takes time and practice.” As you are currently teaching English to both 9th and 11th graders, how are you trying to share your passion for the subject with your students?  And, how are you and your colleagues helping these students to adapt to the more rigorous SBAC testing that will occur in the spring?

Campbell: “I hope that my love for literature and writing can rub off on my students, even if it just a little bit. Writing is a form of expression and I hope that my students can find their voice through their writing and I encourage them to read a different book each quarter that they want to read. It doesn’t matter what they read, but that they find something they enjoy reading. “My colleagues and I work very hard to collaborate and prepare our students for the SBAC exam. It is the complete opposite of the usual standard STAR testing. We create lessons and exams to imitate the SBAC exam to prepare them to attack the test. We also try to incorporate current issues for them to argue and form their opinion. I think it is going to take time to prepare them and as we gain more information about the exam the preparation is going to have to start at the freshman level and beyond.” A question about your overall philosophy on basketball and how the game should be played:  You had mentioned the concepts of discipline and chemistry. Describe how these tenets should be important to your athletes now and beyond high school. 

Campbell: “There are so many aspects of the game that it would be impossible to touch on them all. I want to continue to build my knowledge of the game and continue to get better as a coach. I think my philosophy will continue to evolve throughout my coaching career. Along with the mental toughness of the game, discipline and chemistry are important. The game and being part of a team teaches these young ladies some very vital skills for them to be successful in their futures and I hope they can take something away from this season.” Anything else that you would like to add?

Campbell: “I love coaching and I would do anything for these girls. I am so proud of them and grateful for each and every one of them.”

Of course, the discussion about a team sport would not be complete without shedding light on at least one of its players. When we gave Ms. Campbell this opportunity, she readily identified Senior Julyana Amante. Like the rest of her siblings, Ms. Amante matriculated up to DHS from Fallon Middle School. Oldest sister, Tiana graduated in 2012 and is now attending Las Positas College. Alyssa is a sophomore and Isabella is a freshman. Though Julyana suffered a torn ACL before her sophomore year, she has lettered in all four years with the varsity squad. She previously played under Coach Mark Wainwright until Coach Campbell elevated in her junior year. We had the opportunity to gain Julyana’s insight as she completes her most successful year – both on and off the court. Being a student/athlete is not easy.  It requires a lot of discipline.  What have you learned about time management and how do you manage your academic priorities?

Julyana Amante

Julyana Amante

Julyana Amante: “I was always taught to put my studies first. I make time after school/ practice focus on schoolwork and try to use my time productively during class and at home. Sometimes I go to the library during lunch to catch up on my work or to get ahead to lessen the stress with homework.” The Lady Gaels are experiencing a wildly successful season.  Help us to understand how you and the team prevent yourselves from looking too far ahead. 

Amante: “As a team we try to take the season game by game. We definitely have goals for the playoffs, but we make sure to focus on the present and not to get carried away with how many wins or losses we have or another team has. We try to get one job done and then move on to the next.” At DHS, there are several options for extra-curricular activities including clubs and the band program.  Share how competing in athletics has enhanced your experience at Dublin High over the past four years.

Amante: “Being not only in athletics, but in clubs such as leadership and CSF, has really helped enhance my high school career. Being a part of these organizations has made me live through a true high school experience. I have made many of friends and have learned a lot.” It is somewhat ironic that Coach Campbell is a former Gael.  But your relationship with her probably extends beyond simply x’s and o’s.  How has Trisha influenced you as a person? 

Amante: “Trisha being a former student and player at Dublin is helpful and rewarding. We as players and relate to her a a certain level that many other coaches cannot. She gives us a lot of freedom on the court to play and she understands mostly about the knowledge we have about the game of basketball.”

So, it can become very easy for the fervent or casual fan to conjecture how far this season can go for the Lady Gaels. Perhaps it will travel to the North Coast Championships (NCS) and beyond. But, the backdrop of Coach Wooden’s words, there is a Head Coach and one senior player that will help their team to enjoy the journey. would like to thank Trisha Campbell and Julyana Amante for their contributions to this profile and we wish you success through the remainder of this remarkable season.

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