Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Men’s basketball fleshes out coaching staff with alum Sean Coman ’23

Courtesy of Sean Coman
Emerson men’s basketball assistant coach Sean Coman ’23 (right) next to head coach Bill Curley.

When looking for a new assistant coach for the men’s basketball team, Head Coach Bill Curley elected to add a familiar face who knows the team: former guard Sean Coman. 

Coman joined the men’s basketball team last year as a graduate student, using his extra year of eligibility from the pandemic to play for Emerson. He previously played at Hendrix College in Arkansas, where he got his bachelor’s degree. As much as he loves playing basketball, Sean’s goal from a young age was to be a coach.  

“I remember watching my dad be a volunteer basketball coach and absolutely falling in love with it,” Coman said. “I’ve always wanted to stay around basketball and be a part of a team, something bigger than yourself. I think being able to mentor young men, especially at a time in their life like college, is a great responsibility.”

Sean chose to stay at Emerson because he found the experience fantastic as a graduate student and wanted to remain somewhere he enjoyed. 

“I’m just a fan of Emerson as a whole: the professors, the teammates, the coaches, the dining hall workers; it’s a little family on a city block,” Coman said. “Being from Dallas and being a city boy, there’s no better campus in America for me. Having that great experience as a student and a player—I want to pass that down to future generations of student athletes and regular students at Emerson.” 

As assistant coach, Coman has several responsibilities, including but not limited to: running practice if the head coach is busy, recruiting new players, driving the van to away games, making the scouting report, and doing laundry. He is also there to help the head coach, which Coman says is a collaborative effort. 

“I’m super grateful to Coach Curley for giving me the opportunity to come back and be on his staff, work for him and with him,” Coman said. “He’s made it a seamless transition. He’s treated me with the utmost respect from day one. He’s empowered me to use my voice, asked me for feedback, and taught me a lot. I think it’s good that we already have a baseline foundation of a relationship, that it’s not completely new.” 

Coman isn’t just working with his former head coach, he is also coaching his former teammates, which can make it difficult to establish authority. However, Coman has not had that problem with the team, saying the transition has been comfortable.

“The guys have been really receptive of me being the coach,” he said. “Being on the other side is a little bit different. It’s been nice to have the relationship foundation with those guys. They know where I’m coming from and what I want from them.”

The players are also glad to have their former teammate coming back as a coach. Sophomore guard Brendan McNamara said he was happy to hear of Coman’s well-deserved return.

“Sean was my teammate last year and was undoubtedly one of the best I’ve had in all my years of playing basketball, so I think bringing him in as a coach was a great move,” McNamara said. “He is incredibly knowledgeable about the game, he instills confidence and belief in those around him and he’s a winner. He wants to win just as badly as the guys on the team, which is the kind of coach you want to play for.” 

Sophomore guard Peyton Lodge agreed with McNamara. 

“Coach Coman was both a smart and exceptionally good teammate last year,” said Lodge. “Whether he is on the court or on the sidelines, having him back this year helps us immensely in accomplishing our goal, which is to win a NEWMAC Championship.”

Coman also mentioned the adjustments he’s had to make to be a coach instead of a player, learning that there are a lot of differences between the two. 

“I’ve found out there’s a lot of preparation behind the scenes that the players don’t have any idea about like seeing the long hours of preparing practice, watching practice back, and never being able to shut it off,” Coman said. “I’m always thinking about ways to get the team better and it’s more of a total aspect rather than an individual aspect.” 

As for this year’s team, Sean and the rest of the coaching staff are excited about what they are going to put on the court. Coman said it is a bit of a different team with youth and transfers added in the offseason. 

“We expect to play hard and to compete in every game. This group should play hard and be a fun group to watch,” Coman said. “They are going to need the support of the Emerson campus for sure to reach our goals.” 

The men’s basketball team’s first game is on Nov. 10th against Colby. Their first home game will be on Nov. 18th in the Brown and Plofker Gym against Salem State. 

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