Maloney chosen for Branch Rickey mentor program

Alexa Maloney, ’17, was chosen for the NCAC Branch Rickey Mentoring Program for her passion and interest in coaching lacrosse. The program pairs NCAC athletic administrators and coaches with female and minority students who aspire to have a career in coaching college athletics.

“That’s why I applied—because I wanted the opportunity to see if coaching was right for me because I am really passionate about it and I think it’s a great way to put a finger down on something before applying for jobs,” Maloney said.

Maloney will be mentored by Allegheny’s women’s basketball head coach, Kate Costanzo. Throughout the program, Maloney will be working with Costanzo to learn how she runs her program and get a different perspective on coaching.

“I think for me, it’s an opportunity to give back and to help a student athlete who’s interested in getting into athletics. I think it’s a unique opportunity to get to know a student from another team here which will be fun,” Costanzo said. “What I’d really like to see is the student I’m working with realize the passion even more and enter into a career in athletics, whether that’s in coaching or athletic administration. I think that’d be a pretty cool thing to witness when she graduates.”

Maloney said she was proud of herself for being chosen for the program and getting the opportunity to learn more about coaching from someone with as much experience as Costanzo.

“I’m super pumped to be a part of the program, and the fact that I’m partnered with Coach Costanzo was really great,” Maloney said. “She’s been here for nine years and has a wealth of knowledge that she is so willing to help me with and pass on. This is her first time with the program, so it gives us a good opportunity to learn together which is something that I think is a great opportunity.”

Women’s Lacrosse Head Coach Ashley Hughes said, as an Allegheny alumna and a coach, she wishes the program had been here when she was a student.

“I think it’s a great program for liberal arts institutions across the NCAC to offer opportunities for those that want to get into any sort of sports setting to have that internship opportunity,” Hughes said. “You also get a different perspective on how different coaches approach things, so despite the fact that Coach Costanzo and I are in the same department, she’ll handle things differently. It also creates a great opportunity for networking. [Alexa] will be able to go to some different conferences and meet with the conference office.”

Maloney has been coaching for a club lacrosse team in her hometown for three years and has spent time as a referee for games as well.

“I’d like to work before I go to grad school, and hopefully coaching will be a good option,” Maloney said. “I’m really passionate about coaching, and being able to share the sport with other people is what I love.”

This semester Maloney will be working with Costanzo and Gabby Holko, women’s basketball assistant coach, to plan practices and go to games to see the behind-the-scenes of getting ready for games.

“We’re also going to do some stuff with her coaching philosophy and how it is instilled in the team over time, which I think is cool to see something manifest,” Maloney said.

In addition to participating in the mentoring program, Maloney will be a captain for the women’s lacrosse team this spring.

“[Maloney] was chosen as one of our captains this year, and I think that that was because she is what we call a servant leader,” said Hughes. “She’s leading for the betterment of others and wants to let the others be happy and work hard. So her purpose is to make sure that people are engaged and there’s an environment of inclusivity, that people feel comfortable making mistakes so we can continue challenging each other and making each other better. I think she’s done a good job fostering that environment in her career thus far and really making sure that others feel accepted and comfortable in all situations.”