Augustavo: Coach In Waiting

Jan. 23, 2009

BY JEREMY COTHRAN

Like most University of Washington upperclassmen this time of year, Michelle Augustavo is polishing up her résumé and following job leads to prepare for life after college.

The senior captain and resident three-point specialist has designs on coaching women's basketball, so she's put in some overtime this season picking the brains of the Huskies' coaching staff. Those conversations, mostly with coach Tia Jackson, have ranged from possible openings to effective leadership styles.

'I love recruiting; I'm kind of a gym rat. You'll always find me in a gym somewhere,' said Augustavo, who graduated last quarter. 'It's just in my blood and I feel like nothing is better than teaching what you know best.'

That particular area is where Jackson feels Augustavo will have tremendous success in the future. With her gregarious personality, Augustavo is popular among her teammates, where she's earned the reputation of 'team mom.' Augustavo also has the benefit of coming from an athletic family. Her father John coaches basketball locally, and the Augustavo name has been synonymous with success at Bishop Blanchet High School.

In a perfect world, Jackson would find a spot for Augustavo on her coaching staff. But she's spreading word through her contacts and networking on Augustavo's behalf.

'It doesn't surprise me that's a path she wants to follow,' Jackson said. 'She's got a great mind. She's savvy. She understands the game inside and out. When we talk about basketball it's about every facet. Some players can only take bits and pieces. She can take it all...I wish I had 20 openings on my staff so I could always hire the players that graduate.'

Augustavo is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Husky assistant coach Loree Payne, who was a former standout for UW earlier this decade. Even though she's fashioning a post-collegiate life for herself, Augustavo still has plenty of on-court responsibilities for Washington this season.

Within the ultra-competitive Pac-10, Augustavo is doing all she can to help ensure a positive season for UW. She's averaging around eight points per game, and leads the team in three-pointers made. Her role has also increased lately with the high-ankle injury to guard Kristi Kingma. While Augustavo was not a starter early this season, she's logged a high amount of minutes. It's the reason Jackson had no qualms about inserting her into the starting lineup when Kingma went down.

Her presence gives UW the benefit of an added perimeter presence. Augustavo takes a majority of her shots from beyond the 3-point line, and at times she's capable of torrid streaks.

Prior to transferring back home from the University of San Diego in 2006, Augustavo once scored 42 points in a game against Clemson, which is a USD single-game record.

Homesickness and a desire to play in front of family and friends brought Augustavo back home to Seattle. Like more than a few sun-starved local teenagers, Augustavo was lured to Southern California's beach lifestyle. Now she can't think of anything better than closing out her career at Hec Ed.

'I've always wanted to be a Husky,' Augustavo said. 'All the time I was down there I was really homesick and fortunately got the opportunity to come back up here.'

When she eventually makes the transition over to coaching, Augustavo has several ideas as to what her philosophy is going to be. She's had the fortunate - or unfortunate - benefit of playing for four different coaches in college, so Augustavo has absorbed a lot of ideas. One thing is for sure, though - she's not going to run her team as hard as Jackson runs this one.

'I hate to run. Everybody hates to run,' Augustavo said with a laugh. 'But it's good for you.'

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