New Varsity Girls Basketball Coach Emphasizes Community and Commitment

Richmond native Kara Bacile brings knowledge of Division I college coaching to her new position.

Kara Bacile will be taking over the position of varsity girls basketball coach for the 2018-19 season, after serving as the JV coach last year. She brings both experience and credentials with her to Steward. She recently received her master’s degree in sport leadership from VCU while coaching in the role of Graduate Assistant alongside Coach Michael Shafer with the University of Richmond women’s basketball team.

Coach Bacile’s love of basketball started young, and she played for the varsity team at Monacan High School in North Chesterfield. She returned to her hometown of Richmond to assistant coach at Monacan after playing four years of Division III women’s basketball at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA. She describes that year as an assistant coach of Monacan’s girls’ basketball team as “phenomenal."

“We had Megan Walker on the team, who was a top recruit in the country that year,” she said. “We had college coaches coming down to the gym all the time to see her, so I was able to get a lot of experience with that process.”

Coach Bacile then went on to pursue her master’s in sport leadership, and served as Graduate Assistant with the University of Richmond women’s basketball team as a part of that degree. Seeing the way a Division I program is run was an “incredible experience” for her, and she brings those learnings with her to Steward.

While making the switch from JV to varsity this year, Coach Bacile is focused and committed, and expects that same level of commitment from her players. “As a JV coach, your main priority is helping the kids learn fundamentals and fall in love with the game,” she said. “As a varsity coach, there are expectations to win, grow as a player, and to be set up for success in the community after high school. When you’re on the varsity team, I want your full commitment and attention to detail.”

Coach Bacile keeps in close contact with the returning players she knows well from her time at Steward last year, and is already strategizing with them as well as preparing them for the season in the weight room. “Coach D’Onofrio left us in a really good position,” she said. “We have the potential to do something really special this year.”

“Coach Bacile brings the enthusiasm, intensity, and knowledge of the game that is essential to a successful athletic program,” Director of Athletics Bruce Secrest said. “She’s the kind of person who you love after only five minutes around her. That’s especially true for the kids she coaches. That’s a great quality to have for a coach, because the kids know she really cares.”

When asked what drew her to Steward, Coach Bacile cited the tight-knit community. “Everyone is really supportive of what you’re doing, and wants to see you succeed,” she said. “The opportunities here are endless.”


Steward Voices

Steward is an atmosphere that fosters confidence—something we have seen in all three of our kids. Whether it is playing a new sport, running for a seat on the Honor Council, or singing a solo on Talent Night, they have been encouraged to try, to experience, and to grow.
- Dan and Kathi Campbell, Parents of Abbie ’19, Emma ’17, and Ben ’14

Steward Voices

Steward is the right place for Micah and Kiri because they are able to develop strong connections with their teachers, which in turn facilitates confidence and resilience in their learning. Everyone at Steward knows your name and makes you feel so welcome.
- Paul and Janet Yoon, Parents of Kiri ’27 and Micah ’26

Steward Voices

Steward helped me develop the skills I needed to succeed in college and the courage and confidence to set competitive career goals for myself. But, these skills weren’t lessons I learned just in Steward’s classrooms; they came from the athletic fields, in the hallways, and during Honor Council meetings, too.
- Grace Henderson ’10

Steward Voices

Steward provides Andrew with a nurturing environment which fosters his individualism, develops exemplary character traits, and continuously provides him with creative learning experiences. Consequently, Andrew ‘loves’ school and anticipates each day with joy, enthusiasm, and excitement.
- Betsy Jollay, Grandmother of Andrew O’Leary ’25

Steward Voices

I love all that The Steward School has done for Trace. Steward has uncovered Trace’s talents, celebrated his individuality, and strengthened his belief in himself. The faculty and staff offer an amazing balance of challenge and comfort, encouraging the best from all students. I can’t imagine Trace being anywhere else. Thank you, Steward School.
- Ron Coles, Father of Trace Coles ’19 and Grade 5 Teacher

Steward Voices

Being a member of The Steward School international program has been an awesome experience. The community has helped me tremendously along the way.
- Bowen Chen ’15


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