For new CSJ head women’s basketball coach Chris Wood, basketball runs in the family.

Wood’s father was a long-time coach, who brought MSJ to a state championship, and his brother is currently the Rutland high school boys coach. And Woods himself brings more than 20 years of coaching experience at the high school level, having coached at Green Mountain Union High School, Otter Valley Union High School and a number of other schools.

“I love the game of basketball. I grew up around it and my father has coached for more than 40 years,” Wood said. “This is a step I’ve been wanting to take for a long time, so for me this is the perfect time.”

Wood is eager to get working on the upcoming season and getting to know his team better. At CSJ, he sees an opportunity to build on past success and create a team that plays the brand of basketball that has made him a successful coach.

Wood says he envisions the women’s program being on par with the strong men’s program CSJ has built behind head coach and Athletic Director Phil Bartlett.

“There’s no reason the girls program can’t be as successful as the boys. The administration is firmly committed to making the program strong,” Wood said.

Wood says he brings enthusiasm, excitement and a sense of hard-work to the table as a head coach. He feels that the hard-working attitude will rub off on his players and help them achieve success.

“If you bring an attitude to succeed, you can be successful,” Wood said.

According to Wood, character and hard work are what teams are built on.

“Character is the biggest thing – your makeup, how you conduct yourself as a person – an ability to get along with others. Teamwork is a huge thing. You need to be able to accept criticism,” Wood said.

Wood said it is a little early for him to assess the strengths of his team as he is just getting to know them. Early on he said the team has size as a positive attribute, and that he would like to establish some depth. A key for the team will be establishing leadership from the players.

“Who leads by example. Finding who takes the bull by the horns and demonstrates leadership is what we need,” Wood said.

Wood said a successful first season won’t necessarily be measured in wins and losses.

“We need to get these kids more game time, and giving younger players a chance to play at the college level and see the speed of the game. Being able to play as a team and become cohesive,” Wood said. “We want to be competitive with everyone on our schedule and we want to be competitive in the Yankee conference. I want to put my stamp on the program in terms of the way we are going to play basketball.”