Coach Dameka Reese
|Season(s) Coaching the Divas: 2014-2017
Linebackers Coach – 2016-2017
Assistant Coach – 2014-2015
Coach Dameka Reese Q&A
Why did you decide to get into coaching after your playing career was over?
I also coached basketball at my old high school in the summer. I definitely enjoyed it, because they were young kids and you can kind of mold them. It’s so much more involved at that level than just teaching the sport. You’re also helping them in life, and I enjoyed that part. When I got into coaching with the Divas, I didn’t know if it was going to be that same type of thing, but it really is. I really enjoy the interpersonal interactions coaches have with players.
What has been your biggest adjustment from playing women’s football to coaching it?
When I played, one thing I always knew a lot about was tackling. [Coach Reese is widely regarded as one of the hardest-hitting defensive backs in Divas history.] But honestly, it’s really hard to teach someone to have that animalistic approach. They say you can’t teach heart, and in the same way, it’s sometimes hard to teach players how to have that animal instinct and intense desire to make a tackle. However, the other part of playing linebacker is learning how to tackle properly, and I have definitely been able to give my input on that because I believe I was always taught how to tackle properly.
But I’ll be honest, I had to get a crash course on the basics of linebacker play when I first took the job. Learning a position that I’d never played before and then having to coach it to veterans and rookies alike was a challenge.
How has your background as a women’s football player helped you as a coach?
For instance, Coach Black [Jerome Davis] and I are the same age; we graduated high school the same year. But his football education is way above mine, because he grew up playing football and played the sport his whole life. Because I played women’s football for years, I can not only understand what they’re saying but I can also translate their intellect into terms that our current players – many of whom are still developing – can understand. I guess my football background helps me to be a better translator.
What is your overall coaching philosophy? How would you like your players to play the game?
I hope that, because of our coaching, our players end up being much more advanced in their football knowledge after their first or second year than I was after my first or second year. I want my players to understand the game so well that one of them is eventually able to take my place, and I want to make sure that we always have a steady supply of good coaches for young girls who want to play in the future.