HOUGHTON - In former assistant Sarah Stream, Michigan Tech women's basketball head coach Kim Cameron enjoyed a No. 2 that had played for the Huskies and was intimately familiar with the Tech modus operandi.
In new assistant coach, Maria Kasza, Cameron pulled from the same well.
Kasza was on the Tech squad from 2007-09, and after two seasons coaching at the high school level has returned to the Huskies in a move that literally has her bouncing with excitement.
Michigan Tech women’s basketball assistant coach Maria Kasza gives out instructions at a camp for sixth- through eighth-graders Wednesday. Kasza returns to the Huskies program after playing for Tech from 2007-09. (DMG photo by Michael Bleach)
"I am so excited to be here, I wake up every day thinking, 'I get to be a basketball coach!'" Kasza said. "And at a place I love, a program I think the world of and for a coach I respect more than anybody. It's awesome. I sometimes can't believe that this is my job. I'm still getting used to all of it, but its been awesome."
With Kasza coaching at Kalkaska High School in the Lower Peninsula since her graduation from college, Cameron believes new recruiting grounds will open up for the Huskies south of the Mackinac Bridge where the team has stalled in recent years.
Kasza, who officially started in mid-May, has already hit the recruiting grounds as a new recruiting period has just opened up.
"I know how great of a job coach Cameron and coach Stream have done in the past, so I am really trying to hit the ground running," Kasza said. "I love being out on the road recruiting and talking to coach Cameron about people I see. But yeah, it is definitely the most difficult part with phone calls, texts and emails, it is kind of never-ending."
"I think she can help us expand," Cameron added. "Her passion and enthusiasm make for a great recruiter too."
The job opened up at a perfect cross roads for Kasza as she was ready to accept a non-coaching job with the state before Stream left to pursue her graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin.
"I never ruled out being a college basketball coach - I was always looking - but I had just taken a new job with the state of Michigan, so it didn't seem like it was going to happen," Kasza said. "But a couple different things worked out ... I was able to apply and am so thankful to be back. I love it."
Where Stream had a more calm and willful personality, Kasza is not shy about expressing herself.
Either trait will work, Cameron said, as long as the communication is flowing between coach and players.
"They are definitely different, but I think Kasza will be just as effective as Streamer was," Cameron said. "Both know what being a Husky is all about, and that first-hand knowledge really comes out and makes a difference."
"I know that basketball is my passion, I bring a lot of energy, enthusiasm and I breathe being a Husky," Kasza added. "From a basketball standpoint, I am looking forward to getting to work with the guards and just help the team in whatever way I can."
Kasza is currently amped just to be working the basketball day-camps the Tech women's program puts on.
That excitement should jump up a few notches by the season's opening tip.
"I can't imagine what that first game day or that first bus trip is going to be like. I can't wait," Kasza said.