Crystal Lake IL- I had a good chance to see how McHenry County College’s Athletic Director and women’s head basketball coach Karen Wiley goes about her business. I covered the very successful women’s volleyball team for the NW Herald and watched and discerned how she struck the perfect balance as the AD and a big supporter of the Scots. She’s got game.
Wiley came to MCC by way of Kishwaukee College, located in Malta, IL. Malta is located in DeKalb County and the school also serves much of Lee and Ogle counties. Wiley was the head coach for 12 years. She was very successful with the basketball team including a 30-7 record her last year. The men’s team also flourished during her tenure with numerous 20+ win seasons.
Wiley has always been as passionate about the classroom as she is about the wins and losses. When she landed at MCC, she continued with the same game plan: good grades followed by competitive sports. The latter can’t exist without a solid performance in the former.
The philosophy Wiley instills in her coaches and student athletes is one of taking responsibility for your actions, on and off the court. Wiley said this, “I expect excellence in the classroom. It’s not a glorified high school here. MCC is not a dumping ground for four year colleges.”
Strong words, but that’s how Wiley runs the Athletic Department and her own team. Fearless and steady in her approach, her coaches appreciate her style.
Coming off a great year for his women’s volleyball team, head coach Kyle McCall has come to appreciate Wiley and what she brings to MCC athletics. “Karen is taking MCC to the next level, not just the athletic department but the whole culture of the campus.” McCall continued, “We consider Karen a game changer for us. She has gotten so much accomplished in such a short time.”
McCall went on, “Karen is motivated, knowledgeable and a tenacious leader. We are happy to be on her team and look forward to the big thing ahead of us.”
Laying out her vision of where she would like to take MCC athletics, Wiley explained, “What we are after here is to develop a program that area student athletes want to be a part of and may even ask themselves, ‘Am I good enough to play at MCC?’. That’s what I would like to see.”
Coach Wiley possesses great resourcefulness and imagination with a spirited purpose to accomplish her goals. MCC is in a good place and the athletic department is in good hands.
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