By Lucas Almeida
What some feared would be the end of a long and successful coaching partnership between women’s badminton co-head coaches Coni Staff and Fred Glosser, has been delayed for one more year. They have both decided to come back for the upcoming 2012 women’s badminton season.
Staff and Glosser had both planned to retire from their full-time coaching positions with the City College women’s badminton program, but now Staff says she and Glosser would have to continue their involvement to some degree “in a transitional way.”
Due to the state budget cuts, the college is does not have the funding to hire replacements for them. So Staff and Glosser have found themselves unable to take time off from coaching at this time.
“The whole City College entity has a hiring freeze on that’s made it very challenging to bring on anybody who hasn’t already been employed at City College to coach the team,” Staff said. “That’s why for this season we’re going to be more involved than what we intended to be.”
Despite their change of plans, Staff and Glosser will still have a transitional meeting in the coming weeks with new coach Maggie Ho, who will join the badminton coaching staff. Unfortunately due to budget cuts, Ho will not be offered a full coaching contract.
“However there will be fundraisers and other methods to compensate Ho and make it clean cut,” Staff said.
Staff also explained that their philosophy of work will not change and that their duties as coaches will not suffer major differences with the inclusion of Ho in the staff.
According to Glosser, coach Ho is the one who will actually be mentoring and guiding this season’s team, sharing her experience as a State Singles Champion in 2008.
“She will be a great asset to the players because she has competed at a very high level and knows what skills and attitude it takes to compete against other teams,” Glosser said.
Staff and Glosser have been coaching the women’s badminton team for the past four years, being undefeated in the coast conference since 2008 and winning the state championship in 2010. Together, the two coaches have helped lead the team to a streak of 28 consecutive conference wins.
The women’s badminton team was the first women’s team at City College to win a State Championship in any sport.
In the past couple of years since the two coaches took over, the team was the state runner-up in 2009 and again in 2011. They lost last year’s state championship match to long-time rival Irvine Valley College.
Sharing similar coaching philosophies, Staff said her experience working alongside Glosser has been terrific. She adds that the most important thing in any coaching atmosphere is to respect one another.
“For some coaches winning or losing is the most important thing, but we don’t feel that way,” Staff said. “I love winning just as much as anybody else, but I also know there’s something more important than that. What’s important is to give student-athletes the fullest experience they can have and to help them be better citizens, developing them to be wonderful people.”
During Staff’s coaching career, she also has coached volleyball, basketball and softball, all at the collegiate level, with stints at San Francisco State, the University of California and here at City College, either in the head coach or assistant coach position.
Coach Glosser counts all 50 years of his coaching career as successful years.
“Not every year has been a winning success, but the coaching of the teams has always been fun,” Glosser said.
He has been the main badminton instructor at City College since 1984. Glosser suggested forming a badminton team in 1990, but could not coach it because he was the baseball coach at the time.
The key returning players for the upcoming women’s badminton season are Yupar Khin, who was City College’s number one player in single’s competition last season, and Cecilia Ren, who also had an outstanding first season.
Practices will start Feb. 8 and their first pre-season tournament will be held at noon on March 17 at DeAnza College.