Loyola women’s basketball head coach Kate Achter is heading into her third season at the helm of the team; she had a successful career as a player before she became a Rambler. Achter was inducted into Bowling Green State University’s (BGSU) Hall of Fame, her alma mater, Sept. 23.
Achter played at BGSU from 2004-08 and she had a key role on some of the most successful teams in BGSU women’s basketball history. She helped the team to four Mid-American Conference (MAC) regular-season titles, three MAC Tournament crowns and four national postseason appearances.
Achter ranks fifth in BGSU history in scoring with 1,580 career points and is the Falcons’ all-time leader in assists with 688. She’s the only player in school history with more than 1,000 points and 600 assists.
“Kate deserved to be inducted in the Hall of Fame because she was one of the greatest leaders, scorers and assists leaders that the university has ever had,” Liz Honegger, Achter’s former teammate and fellow 2018 Hall of Fame inductee, said. “She’s just an all-around great person. She’s very deserving and I think the basketball track record speaks for itself.”
Fifteen years ago, coaches approached Achter to recruit her. Achter said They had many selling points to get her to come to BGSU — including a talented head coach.
“The coaches at the time sold me and said, ‘We’ve got a really talented freshman class they’re big, they’re very talented, they’re just missing something,’” Achter said. “Now, as a coach, I understand they were just selling me on the dream, which was fine, but our chemistry was really good together and they needed somebody that was going to buy into their mentality.”
Honegger’s first-year class point guard was out with an injury, so Achter came in to fill the hole. After a rough start to her collegiate career, Achter earned the starting spot.
“[Achter] was the missing piece to my class,” Honegger said. “We had all of the other pieces that we needed and then [Achter] came in and took over the reigns of that point guard spot. She had a tough preseason [her first] year, [but] by the time we got into conference she was really doing great.”
Achter said many of the aspects of her coaching career come from her time at BGSU. Achter said she found much success at BGSU and is trying to create that winning atmosphere here at Loyola.
“Literally every single day I use something I learned at [BGSU],” Achter said. “From the ways I recruit from the offenses and defenses we run now [and] the way I teach things. The types of players I look for. I want to recruit people like the women I played with.”
The head coach of BGSU at the time, Curt Miller — who now coaches the WNBA Connecticut Sun — influenced how she coaches. She said she “stole” the idea of a five-year plan from him and she said it taught her how to plan.
“You have to trust the process in how you’re getting there,” Achter said. “My plan looked a little bit different than what his did just because of what he inherited. Certainly by the end of year five, I hope to [be] competing for league championships and post season play whether that be WNIT [Women’s National Invitation Tournament] or NCAA tournament.”
Now the team is in its third year of Achter’s five-year plan and she said she’s focused on building up the team chemistry. Achter said the sophomores and juniors on the team were worried after a lackluster practice, but she assured them that they’re still in the rebuild. They’re centered on building up foundational skills and a base offense and defense.
Even though she was inducted in the Hall of Fame, Achter said it has no influence on how she’s going to run the team. She said she’s grateful for the award, but it doesn’t change who she is or how her players see her.
“It’s a great honor, it’s humbling, but I’m still just coach Kate and I’m here to coach basketball,” Achter said. “I’m Kate the coach, not Kate the player, and that’s what I want my players to understand of it.”
Achter’s time at BGSU earned her this induction and she said she plans on building upon her lessons learned. She said she hopes she can bring her success to the current team at Loyola and build up her coaching accolades.