Collin College's coaches are finding ways to keep their programs on track in a season impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Schedule changes announced by the National Junior College Athletics Association (NJCAA) on July 13 are just the latest wrinkles.
Women's basketball coach Jeff Allen said he and fellow coaches will work hard over the next few weeks to put together schedules that comply with the NJCAA's requirements – practice and scrimmages only until late January.
"Player safety has always been our priority. We will practice and scrimmage this fall with precautions in place," Allen said. "We will adjust to the guidelines and be ready to compete in the spring."
Men's basketball coach Jim Sigona believes the longer practice period may even benefit his team.
"This will give us more time to implement our system and for players to work on their skill development," he said.
Both Allen and Sigona have continued recruiting throughout the summer, although it has been different from past offseasons.
"Recruiting has gone well," Sigona said. "We've just done more video watching and zoom meetings."
Allen agreed that the process has been "interesting" this year.
"We have a few international players who have not been able to get visas due to embassies being closed," he said, "but besides that, I like our incoming players and I'm excited to get started."
The college is in the process of hiring a new men's and women's tennis coach after Marty Berryman retired at the end of the 2019-20 season. That season was cut short in mid-March with the announcement by the NJCAA that it was suspending all spring sports.