The Eastern Michigan University women’s basketball team held a press conference to introduce their new head coach Fred Castro at the EMU President's House Monday morning.
"We are incredibly proud to announce Fred Castro as our next head women's basketball coach," EMU Athletic Director Heather Lyke said. "When we had the chance to meet with Fred, he exudes confidence, preparation and passion. His intellect, personality, past coaching experiences and mentors have well prepared him to lead this team and build a winning program. Most importantly, he genuinely wants to have a positive impact in the lives of our student-athletes and will make them even better players and people. We are thrilled to welcome Fred and his family to the Eastern Michigan Athletics team."
Castro has been apart of 10 different teams that have all participated in the postseason since his start in 2001-02, including two trips to the NCAA Final Four. In 15 years of coaching, his teams have a combined record of 317-171 record (.650 winning percentage) and eight seasons with 20-or-more wins.
“Family, academics and basketball is the order of importance in my vision for this program,” Castro said. “If we take care of the first two, basketball will take care of itself. This team has accomplished a great deal but I truly believe the best is yet to come. I am eager to get in the gym and start working with our players and doing the work necessary for us to be successful.”
The Eagles new head coach steps in following three year's in Seattle as an assistant coach for the Washington University Huskies, in which they posted a 69-35 record and a trip to the 2016 NCAA Tournament Final Four. He was the team’s offensive coordinator and worked with the guards as the Huskies defeated 14 top-25 programs during his tenure.
Castro will put in a few changes into the Eagles style of play including switching from a 2-3 zone defense to man-to-man.
“Fundamentally we will be a man-to-man defense,” Castro said. “We have the talent and roster to be an effective man-to-man team – that’s my opinion and my belief that to win championships, to compete at the highest level at the core you need to be able to play man-to-man. We will play some 2-3 zone defense, but it will be game specific for the game itself and sometimes for a change of tempo.”
Castro is looking forward to coaching the Eagles and is pleased with their leadership from the seniors.
“The guards play incredible – Phillis Webb, Cha Sweeney and Janay Morton are incredible talents,” Castro said. "I do believe there’s room for improvement by all of them, which really excites me – they seem to really enjoy playing together and I love how we have a lot of senior leadership and at the end of the day, that can be difference between us being really good and us being special.”