Cavalier Corner

April 2021

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16 CAVALIER CORNER BY KRISTIN THURMAN I t is not often a second-year in col- lege knows exactly what he wants to do after graduation, but Virginia men's basketball guard Chase Cole- man is one that does. Growing up with a basketball coach in his house made it an easy decision. "What pretty much inspired me was my dad," Coleman said. "Since I've been alive, he's been coaching basketball, whether that be travel basketball or college basketball, and I knew that I wanted to really coach. I guess my parents saw it in me at a young age when I would be playing with clip- boards and stuff like that, drawing up my own plays. "But I think when it really came to me was around my sophomore, junior year of high school. I started to realize that I wouldn't be as highly recruited as a couple of my friends that were really good and my teammates I was playing with, so I just knew that my brain could take me further. That's when I kind of realized that coaching could be my thing." Coleman's dad, Clifford, coached him from age 9-14 with his travel basketball team. That gave Chase a chance to have coaching discussions with his father and first-hand insight into what the profession is really like. "It's funny because the same questions he asked me are the same questions I get asked by our coaches now," Coleman said. "My coaches now, they're like, 'Are you sure you still want to do this? This is more than just drawing plays.' "There's really no offseason when it comes to coaching because you're always going to be traveling or recruiting. It's al- ways going to be something. I always say, 'Yeah, I like it.' I like the strategy. I like ev- erything about it, even the things that come with it that are done behind the scenes." It's not just his dad and the coaches at Virginia that have influenced Coleman's desire to enter the profession. There have been several other important figures in his life that are also coaches. "My mentors other than my dad were coaching," Coleman said. "Cornel Parker, who is an alum from UVA, coached my middle school team and part of my high school team. I've always watched him coach and loved the energy that he gave, the pas- sion he gave to the game, as well as the care that he had for his team. "Then, William Tose used to coach at The Apprentice School with my dad, and he helps coach a travel basketball team for Boo Williams. He's always been one of those guys that I could go to for wisdom and he'd always want to help. "Last summer, he asked me if I wanted to help coach with him, he has a middle school girls travel basketball team. Opportunities like that are something that I don't get often, but I know being around people like him, he always presents those opportunities to me." Coleman also has access to the great coaches at Virginia, so he's always cultivat- ing those relationships for the future. "I try to treat it like more of a conversa- tion rather than me asking for help," he said. "I feel like I'm so young and there's still so much time and so much for me to learn that there's no need for me to be asking for stuff now. "Right now, it's more about me building relationships with the coaches and trying to connect with the coaches through a standpoint where when it comes time and I need help, or I need guidance, it'll be a whole lot easier." In his two years with the program, Cole- man has not only learned a lot from his coaches, but they have grown close and become like a second family to him. "I have a strong relationship with all of the coaches," he explained. "I feel like a lot DESTINED TO COACH Chase Coleman Hopes To Continue In The Family Business Coleman picked Virginia to learn about coaching from Tony Bennett and his staff, but has been able to appear in 22 games and play an impor- tant role as a sideline leader and presence, es- pecially this season without fans in the stands. PHOTO BY MATT RILEY/COURTESY UVA ATHLETICS "What pretty much inspired me was my dad. Since I've been alive, he's been coaching basketball, whether that be travel basketball or college basketball, and I knew that I wanted to really coach." COLEMAN

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