Debbie Guckenberger is in her 12th season as head girls basketball coach — and in her 20th coaching season overall — at Greenwood Community High School. She teaches biology and is also the head coach of the Woodmen’s boys and girls cross-country teams and is an assistant track and field coach.
What do you enjoy about coaching? What keeps you enthused?
I enjoy coaching for several reasons. I absolutely love being out there and like to give back to the sports that I participated in and still love. I want to be a positive influence in kids’ lives and feel like I can make a difference.
A big part of teaching and coaching is teaching kids life lessons, how to deal with adversity, discipline, structure, how to be a good teammate and why you should show good character at all times, win or lose.
How tough is it to balance everything, from work to coaching to family?
It is very difficult balancing family time. My days and weeks are very structured, with very little free time. After practice, I pick up my kids and go to their practices, scout games or watch other sporting events.
Much of my time with my kids is spent in gyms or on playing fields, but luckily they enjoy it. I dedicate any free time on weekends to my kids.
Are there times when you ask yourself, enough is enough?
What I give up is sleep. Fortunately, I can function on three to five hours of sleep a night. I also get support from my husband, Kirk, and my mother. I definitely could not coach three sports without their support.