Augustavo Embarks On New Path

June 19, 2010

SEATTLE - During her senior season at Washington, Michelle Augustavo fostered a passion to coach. Since then she's put her efforts into learning the craft, both through picking the brains of her mentors and taking on an intern-level position at Seattle University.

Recently, Augustavo realized her goal when she was named an assistant coach at Sacramento State. She'll take on the responsibilities of a full-time coach, with her duties ranging from budgeting, scheduling, and recruiting, along with player development.

It's a profession that requires a superhuman time commitment, but Augustavo is ready to throw herself into the job. This is the path in her life she's always wanted.

'To know that she now gets to start this new venture in her life makes me proud,' UW coach Tia Jackson said. 'There is no doubt in my mind that she will do fabulously.'

Augustavo played two seasons at Washington, having transferred back home to the Northwest from the University of San Diego. While the Bothell native was a deadly outside threat, she made it quite clear to everyone around the program that she was destined for a future in coaching. Two years ago, she spoke with about the topic, noting how she used to pepper Jackson with questions whenever she was around the basketball offices. The two would even break down game film during the early morning hours.

'She's definitely been my greatest mentor,' Augustavo said from Sacramento, where she was helping out at the Hornets' camp. 'She has not only taught me a lot, but she's gone above and beyond in helping reach where I'm at right now.'

Once Augustavo graduated from Washington after the 2009 season, she set about tapping into Jackson's extensive network of contacts in the profession. The new Hornets assistant joked it seemed as if Jackson knew 'everyone' in the coaching profession.

Thanks to those contacts, Augustavo was able to fly down to the women's Final Four in San Antonio and partake in a networking bonanza, selling herself and her coaching credentials. From there, she emailed 'just about every coach on the West Coast' to inquire about openings. That kind of networking was tough, even for a gregarious personality like Augustavo.

'You really have to put yourself out there,' Augustavo said. 'I had to go outside my comfort zone.'

On a lark, she received a call from Hornets coach Jamie Craighead, a Washington native. This led to an interview, and a 7 a.m. flight out of SeaTac. Once in California, Augustavo went on a whirlwind interview process, meeting the AD, associate AD and the senior women's administrator. After a stop at her hotel to decompress, Augustavo and Craighead met up for dinner at a local restaurant. Not long into the meal, the job was offered.

The biggest piece of advice Augustavo received from Jackson was simple: work hard for your head coach, and be loyal. Jackson also helped Augustavo by allowing her a more hands-on role during her senior season, though tasks like planning a practice and producing a scouting report.

As she's settled into her new role, Augustavo is prepping to spend weeks on the road (it's the necessary life as an assistant coach). She's found a place to live in Sacramento, was introduced to the team and has burned up a few cell phone minutes calling recruits.

But the long hours are exactly what she wanted going in.

'This is a great place for me to start,' Augustavo said. 'This is going to be awesome.'