Spotlight On: Steve Yang, Georgetown Women’s Basketball

Steve Yang
Director of Operations
Georgetown Women’s Basketball
Hometown: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Education: Missouri State University
Official bio
Twitter: @coach_yang

What do the first two hours of your day look like?

I start my day by checking emails from my account along with my head coach’s camp email account. I then look through my “to-do” list for the day making sure I complete anything that I might have not completed the day before. This along with any staff meetings can make a morning go quickly.

Name one go-to resource (or two or three) that helps you with your duties.

Definitely TeamWorks. This is where I have my calendar, travel schedule, messaging, etc. that keeps me in place. Allows me to easily communicate with everyone within our program and helps me refrain from having so many different text messaging threads.

If you could go back to your first day on the job and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?

BREATHE! I am very hard on myself and want to get stuff done immediately. No better time than the present, right? But this can definitely provide some stress. The competitiveness in me wants to beat everyone in my field and being a perfectionist does not help either. I have, however, learned how to slightly slow it down. As a person who comes batteries included, I will never stop working but the mode can definitely be set on regular.

Name one new thing you want to accomplish within the next year?

I would love to accomplish more in the area of growth and communication with our alums. They are the program and I would love to see them more involved.

As you look at the athletic operations field, what is one area that is growing/changing the most?

Looking at the athletic operations field, the one area that is growing/changing the most is the way we communicate. With social media and texting, getting our message across can be faster and easier; however, it can also portray a different meaning. People are using emoji’s and GIFs as a form to communicate and it can definitely cause a head scratcher.

Best career or work advice you ever received?

Control what you can control. As a Director of Operations, there are a lot of things that arise that are completely out of my control and there is no need to get all worked up about it. My plan B is to make sure plan A works, but knowing that I can’t control everything, I have to learn how to roll with the punches and be ready for when I have hold of the steering wheel.

First event, person, or job that sparked your interest in this field of work.

What sparked my interest in this field of work was when I was at a NAIA school. There were only two full-time coaches and me (a stipend earning assistant), so I had the task of making sure our program was organized all on the same page. We did not have a lot of money, so we didn’t purchase any of the apps that are available today to help keep us in line.

What is the most creative or innovative thing you’ve had to do to address a specific incident or situation?

A former head coach of mine was an avid soda drinker. It started with us being at a road game. With sixty minutes before tip-off, my head coach asked for that particular soda. I sprinted to the nearest soda machine and thankfully they carried the soda. Thankfully I had a $1 bill in my wallet. The next road game, I carried quarters with me just in case the machine did not take any bills. I finally decided to purchase a case of this particular soda at the wholesale to get more bang for my buck and brought them on our road trips in our ice chest.

Talk about a project or effort you’re working on or a group or organization that you’re working with (either inside or outside of your operations function) that is near and dear to your heart.

I am the co-founder and vice-president of the Asian Coaches Association (ACA). The ACA was founded back in 2012 with about 20 members. We have since grown to over 250 members worldwide in both men’s and women’s basketball. The ACA is committed to creating a unified organization of networking, support, and development of coaches of Asian descent. ACA is open to all colleagues in professional sports, NCAA (Divisions I, II, and III), NAIA (Division I and II), junior college, high school levels, and AAU. For the past six years, we have had annual meetings held at the NABC and WBCA conventions during the Final Fours. During the meetings, we would invite guest speakers to help the development of our members. We had a variety of guest speakers such as: LaChina Robinson (ESPN), Sue Semrau (Florida State), Marianne Vydra (Oregon State), Hernando Planells (Duke), Cedric Solice (Syracuse), Tamara Inoue (Cal Irvine), Vicky Chun (Yale), Zenarae Antoine (Texas State) and Julie Shaw (formerly at La Verne & Gonzaga). The meetings provide opportunities for our members to grow and network. We have expanded our membership and have been able to get three sponsors the past two years to help support our organization.

I am on the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Diversity and Inclusion Committee where we provide advice and guidance on issues of diversity and inclusion to the WBCA board of directors and staff. We help ensure the association remains mindful of its commitment to promote a more diverse and inclusive membership through its educational programming, membership benefits and communications. Within our committee, we have divided ourselves into four subcommittees to ensure we remain focused on our priorities.

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