Diane Konarik named Salado Lady Eagles basketball coach
Sunday, 08 July 2012 by Chuck Kelly
Drop the "assistant" from coach Diane Konarik's title --- the longtime Lady Tiger coach has been named the new Head coach of the Salado Lady Eagles basketball team.
"It kinda landed in my lap and I'm excited that it did," she exclaimed. "It (head coach) is something I've always wanted to do and now I have it. We went to the playoffs last year and Salado has a great tradition."
Konarik grew up in West and graduated in a class of 95 so she is used to small towns.
"I love small areas. That's one reason that I started looking around," she said. "I want my kids to grow up in a small family-oriented school district."
Seven-year-old Kenslee will be a third grader; five-year-old Korbin will be starting kindergarten; and four-year-old Karlee goes to Play Yard with other teacher's and coach's little ones.
Konarik played basketball and was a student-coach at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and junior high school in Belton and Temple." I decided that I liked Belton a little more and asked Randy Bell (former BHS head girls basketball coach) if I could do some camps for him," she related. "He said 'sure' and later he called me after a camp and asked if I wanted a job at high school, there was a freshman coach's spot open. I jumped on it and that was my first coaching job back in 1999. I worked with Randy for 12 years and then last year under Brenda Gomez."
Konarik's opinion of Belton's new head coach and girls' athletic coordinator?
"I love her," she quickly commented. "She's great...great intensity, great wanting to get the girls involved. I learned a lot from her in one year...a lot of those things I'll bring here to Salado. Different fundamentals. She is very basic on fundamentals which was what Belton needed. She is going to turn that program around!"
The Salado school board approved Konarik's contract Monday, June 18, and she has hit the ground running.
"I've been coming down every now and then, trying to get situated and see want I can do. I've been told that I am also in charge of the weight program here, too, since I was involved in it with Paul Williams in Belton," she commented. "I'm going to talk with the girls about open gym and things like that. I know they are playing at different summer tournaments, so I know they want to play and are hard workers."
The new head coach has two players returning in the fall....Halley Joiner and Kirstie McGillick but she is going to have to replace two post players, all staters, that were a big part of the team's district game last season.
"I haven't seen the girls yet, so I don't really know what I have but I have camp June 23-26 and, hopefully, I will see some of the younger ones. I'll get some of the older and ex-players to come in and help me with the camp."
This will be a summer and fall of big change for Diane, Patrick (her husband of nine years) and their three children. Konarik and the older children will travel to Salado while dad will also change jobs. After working in Waco following six years Army service, he will now be traveling to Fort Hood for contract work as an aviation mechanic for the Army.
"I'm excited," stated a smiling Diane Konarik, the new head basketball coach of the Salado Lady Eagles. "I like it....This is my new home. This is what I've been working for and I hope to stay here and bring Salado another state championship. I'm looking forward to it!"