‘No sacrifice, no victory’

Women’s Basketball Coach Paul Starkebaum forms team of competitive, hardworking players

As the basketball season progresses, WWU Women's Basketball Coach Paul Starkebaum shares how he evolves continuously to be the best coach he can be for his team.

WWU: What drew you to coaching the basketball team here at WWU?
Paul Starkebaum: When I was asked to take the women’s coaching job, I wanted to add stability to the team and build a foundation for the them to grow on. Building a team is something that I really enjoy and is always an awesome and unique challenge.  

WWU: What are your goals for this year's team?
Starkebaum: We have a large number of internal goals, but ultimately we want to achieve excellence. Making the Cascade Collegiate Conference playoffs is always our team’s number one goal when it comes to outcomes. We have a lot of stepping stones that we must cross before we reach such aspirations.  

WWU: What is your coaching philosophy?
Starkebaum: My coaching philosophy is always changing as I take in new input on how to improve as a coach. What keeps me motivated every day is to be the best possible coach for my team and putting the team in a position to be successful. Those two things are what really guide me as a coach.  

WWU: Do you have a certain motto you say to the team to inspire them before the games?
Starkebaum: “No Sacrifice, No Victory,” is this year’s motto. 

WWU:Do you have prior experience coaching or other qualifications that will be helpful as this season progresses?
Starkebaum: This is my 14th year coaching basketball. It would be difficult to boil down to a few specific examples of what experiences I have had that will help me. I would say some themes are to always stay humble and look for ways to improve, keep things as simple as possible, and remember that the number one job of a coach, as described by Greg Popovich, is to stay out of the players’ way. 

WWU: Are there any specific thing fans will enjoy seeing unfold on the court this season?
Starkebaum: This is going to be a really fun team to watch! We have 12 new players and a group of returners that will be great leaders. I think fans will enjoy the competitiveness of this group and how hard they play.  

WWU: Do you have any family in the WWU area?
Starkebaum: My parents, Ed and Juanita Starkebaum, live in Walla Walla. My sister and her husband, Traci and Josh Galan, live in College Place with their two sons, Benny and Joey. 

WWU: What are your interests other than basketball and coaching?
Starkebaum: I love classic cars. I own a 1971 Plymouth Scamp, a 1941 Chevy Truck, and a 1972 Datsun 510 to name a few. I enjoy being outdoors. Hiking, camping or fishing are great excuses to be outside. 

To learn more about the WWU Wolves Women's Basketball team, including player statistics and game schedules, visit uwolves.com.

Posted Oct. 25, 2019

Paul Starkebaum stands smiling in a white button-down shirt with a blue tie
Starkebaum attributes his passion for coaching basketball to his time coaching the Boy's JV basketball team at Walla Walla Valley Academy while attending college.