Julia Allender started June 9 as the new head women’s basketball coach at Sacramento City College.
Allender comes from Ohlone Community College in Fremont, where she served as head coach for the past five years. Previous to that, she was an assistant coach for three years at the college.
As an alumna of San Jose City College, Allender is no stranger to the community college system. In fact, found that her experience as a student led her to prefer coaching at the community college level over other higher education institutions.
“I got into coaching to help people,” Allender said. “From my experiences coaching at the community college level, I saw and realized that there is a large opportunity to positively affect and help players who may have been overlooked or need specific areas of development in order to go on and play at the next level.
“It’s a development level and that’s really what I enjoy about community college and working with these athletes. They have this goal in mind that you’re really helping them go achieve.”
Allender said she was “very much” one of those athletes who needed to be challenged and nudged to reach her performance goals.
“I didn’t really get much better in high school. I was always better than the vast majority of my peers,” Allender said. “So when I began playing at the community college, that gave me an opportunity to get better and add skills that I didn’t have before. It gave me an opportunity to really compete on a daily basis and physically be able to be stronger and move better and be quicker.”
From San Jose City College, Allender went on to play at Southern Utah University with a full Division I basketball scholarship.
“That was my goal; that was my dream,” Allender said. “It was what I wanted to achieve because I knew I wanted to coach.”
Allender said she knew she wanted to coach from a very young age, although she had opportunities to pursue a career as a professional athlete.
“Growing up as a kid, I just loved to help people and I also loved sports,” she said. “I saw how my coaches at that age affected me positively.”
Alllender has a 95 percent transfer rate in her five years as Ohlone’s head coach (100 percent in the last three years), which means she has helped nearly all her athletes transfer to the colleges where they want to play.
While Allender’s first priority is her athletes’ well-being and development, that certainly does not preclude winning games. And she has the track record to back that up — she has won three conference championships in five years at Ohlone and won 105 games in five years.
“I am very highly competitive,” Allender said. “But more than winning, I’m in it to help my athletes in many aspects — educationally, morally, in building leadership skills, giving them tools to live a very successful life.”
To learn more about Panther Athletics, visit the official website.