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Head Men’s Basketball Coach Sam Hargraves with Coach Berry

Brittany Berry serves as head women’s basketball coach at Olivet College. She joined the Comet coaching staff in 2017, previously serving as interim coach and assistant coach. Prior to joining OC, Coach Berry served as an assistant women’s basketball coach also in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) and had a successful college playing career herself, including a two-time MIAA selection. In addition to leading the Comets to success, Coach Berry has a special goal to help develop female leaders in her role.

What brought you to Olivet College?

Having played at another team in the MIAA, I have always known about OC and have had good friendships with former Olivet players. They always represented OC well and when the coaching position opened up, it was a no brainer to apply. Having spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach in the program, I gained a passion for Olivet, its mission and the student-athletes here. It really encouraged me to take that next step as a head coach because it is easy to promote a place you believe in, and I want to share Olivet with even more people through our program.

Why do you love OC?

I love the diversity and inclusion of Olivet and the mission of social justice and equality for everybody. That’s important to me. The second I arrived on campus I knew I was in my comfort zone. I really bought into the mission of OC — the idea of having an equal arena for everybody and a community that is diverse. That’s super exciting; that’s realistic to the world, and I like that worldview.

Where do your passions for coaching, basketball and DIII athletics from?

Athletics have had a positive impact in my development throughout my life, and having played Division III in college really started my passion for DIII athletics. I love the focus on strong academics and the well-rounded individual not just on the playing field, but in the community as well. DIII is known for its high standards and students’ excellence after graduation. The students who play DIII, especially in the MIAA, are all students who had opportunities to play at a higher division, but chose DIII for its ability to create a balanced life. The DIII community feels like home to me.

What’s your coaching style like?

I am very passionate and detail-oriented about the game. I like things done until they are done right. I am a film junkie and really enjoy studying the game. I try to share my passion for basketball with my players, but also my experience in the ups and downs of life. I want basketball to be an outlet for them when tough things happen in life. Basketball has always been that sanctuary for me, and I try to create an atmosphere like that for them. I am not much of a yeller, more of an individual communicator.

What’s the average day in your role, or some of the unique things you are responsible for?

Every day at Olivet can hold something a little different. Generally, my job is focused around recruiting future athletes, attending practices and games, and preparing our current athletes for the season ahead.

Why do you encourage students to attend OC?

Olivet is a great family atmosphere. It has a small town feel and you get the opportunity to grow and build relationships with everyone on campus. On top of that, the faculty and staff are supportive, there’s great networking for post college and the community top notch.

What’s the most important lesson student-athletes should take away from their collegiate athletic experience? 

We want to win championships, but I think that’s a given. I really want to develop our females. I want to put strong female leaders into the workforce when they leave. I think it’s super critical that I’m a role model for them so that they can see that women can be strong leaders. I hope that through the process of sports and DIII athletics I can help develop those future leaders. All of the females on our team are capable of that because they’re all strong, powerful individuals.

What advice do you share with students?

College is a great opportunity to participate in athletics and build relationships, but the most important thing is that you are able to grow intellectually and prepare for life outside of college. Academics and your future are your main reasons for being here, so really take that seriously and attack your academics with energy. Take advantage of everything the college offers — whether that is studying abroad or doing service trips on spring break. You can’t get this time back, so tackle it all.

What do you look forward to in your role?

I am so excited for the opportunity to lead this team in my first year as a head coach. I’ve hired an incredible assistant coach, Cassidy Williams, and know she will bring a winning tradition to Olivet. We have a great class coming in, and I look forward to sharing Olivet with them in the fall.

What is an interesting or little-known fact about yourself?

I have six siblings and have been skydiving three times since high school.

Learn more about Olivet College and opportunities for basketball players by contacting the Office of Admissions at 800-456-7189 or admissions@olivetcollege.edu.

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