What’s in store for the women’s bas­ket­ball pro­gram with Kelly Cole at the helm? Northeastern’s new head coach offered a glimpse into her coaching style, high expec­ta­tions, and pas­sion for the game during a press con­fer­ence at the Cabot Center on Wednesday.

We look for­ward to putting together a very exciting and dynamic style of bas­ket­ball this season,” Cole said. “By com­bining the tremen­dous core of returning talent, a few fresh ideas, enthu­siasm, and a lot of hard work, the goals of the pro­gram and the uni­ver­sity are well within our reach.”

Ath­letic director Peter Roby noted that Cole brings an impres­sive record of expe­ri­ence and lead­er­ship to North­eastern that has led to student-​​athletes’ suc­cess on the court and in the classroom.

I’m thrilled about the future of women’s bas­ket­ball at North­eastern,” Roby said.

Cole’s 20 years of coaching—13 at the Divi­sion 1 level—includes nine sea­sons as an assis­tant at Boston Col­lege, two sea­sons at North­western Uni­ver­sity, her alma mater, and two sea­sons at Har­vard Uni­ver­sity, her most recent posi­tion. During her tenure, those teams have recorded 20-​​win sea­sons 10 times and made 11 post­season appear­ances, eight NCAA tour­na­ment berths, and three trips to the Sweet 16.

Just as impres­sive, Roby said, is Cole’s deci­sion to coach and teach at the high school level in Oregon after grad­u­ating col­lege in 1991. “One of the things that I admire about Kelly is that she is an edu­cator,” Roby said. “That speaks vol­umes to me about what Kelly values … It’s impor­tant that we have ded­i­cated and gifted people who are willing to go back and impact young people.”

From left, Kelly Cole, the new Northeastern women's basketball head coach, and athletic director Peter Roby, at Wednesday's press conference. Photo by Mariah Tauger.

From left, Kelly Cole, the new North­eastern women’s bas­ket­ball head coach, and ath­letic director Peter Roby, at Wednesday’s press con­fer­ence. Photo by Mariah Tauger.

At North­eastern, Cole is eager to get the ball rolling with a group she described as “loaded with poten­tial.” The Huskies lost this past season’s leading scorer and rebounder Jewel Tun­stull to grad­u­a­tion, but the rest of the team’s core will return next season. Cole looks for­ward to fea­turing a team-​​first approach, a tight-​​knit group, and an up-​​tempo brand of Huskies bas­ket­ball when the season kicks off this fall.

In addi­tion to the head coaching oppor­tu­nity, Cole said Northeastern’s aca­d­emic pro­file, par­tic­u­larly the university’s focus on expe­ri­en­tial edu­ca­tion and global learning, was a huge draw for her—one that she also plans to empha­size to prospec­tive student-​​athletes on the recruiting trail. “North­eastern pro­vides a per­fect com­bi­na­tion of aca­d­emic excel­lence and com­pet­i­tive ath­letics, all in the heart of one of the finest col­lege and sports towns in the nation,” she said.

Cole under­scored that intan­gi­bles, such as work ethic, integrity, and a strong under­standing of the game, are among the traits she looks for in recruits. “Resiliency is incred­ibly impor­tant, for student-​​athletes to face chal­lenges, bounce back, and look for the next level [of suc­cess] rather than be con­tent,” she added.

The Huskies lost 10 games by less than 10 points in the 2013–14 season, which Cole said is an oppor­tu­nity in the short term to make some minor adjust­ments and turn L’s into W’s. When asked about her long-​​term goals for the pro­gram, Cole responded, “Nothing short of con­fer­ence cham­pi­onships and post­season play.”