Maners

Jasper girls basketball coach Brittany Maners is on the cusp of her 10th year coaching hoops. She was .500 in five years at Princeton and 86-14 at Evansville Central over four years.

JASPER — Brittany Maners is coming back to the Southern Indiana Athletic Conference.

With her track record, 86 wins out of 100 games in her first taste, that’ll up the ante in the league.

She reaches the decade mark in the coaching ranks with Jasper girls hoops this upcoming season.

She logged four- and five-year bids at Evansville Central and Princeton, respectively.

Her coaching debut with the Bears yielded a win against Mt. Vernon 56-52 on Nov. 15, 2013.

Her career on the north side of Evansville was a slam dunk — her worst year, Year One, she finished 17-5 with a sectional finals appearance with a one-point loss to Castle.

In the next three years, she won three sectional titles and got to the regional finals in 2016. She put the finishing touches on an 86-14 polished spell.

So, why the move to Princeton in the Pocket Athletic Conference, where the 2006 Evansville Reitz alumna finished 53-53, with one losing season and one sectional playoff win?

The move came down to an opportunity that she and her husband, Jared Maners, couldn’t pass on.

“I had an unbelievable experience at Central and I had no intentions of leaving,” Brittany wrote over text. “However, my husband had the opportunity to do what he loved and become a first-time head (football) coach. It was a unique situation for our family as Princeton had openings at both head football and head girls (basketball) at the same time. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us both to pursue our passions and continue to raise our family in a great community.”

After four years, that chapter has closed and Maners heads 46 miles east to establish roots in the Jasper community and head up another girls basketball Southern Indiana program with some expectations.

“I would say that (there are) similarities,” she said. “The culture is a little bit different. At Princeton, they’d had the success of recently winning a state championship (2015). They had Jackie Young, who ended up being the No. 1 WNBA draft pick, so there were a lot of traditionally strong things in place there. Even though that talent went, that tradition stays.

The last time the Wildcats won a sectional game coincided with their last sectional crown in 2015 under former coach Ryan Erny.

“At Jasper, I’m just excited to get going as far as a program standpoint and to dive in with the youth and continue to build that high school program,” Maners continued. “It’s a little bit different from a cultural standpoint. They’ve definitely had success in girls basketball but it’s been a while.”

She pointed out community support is positively prevalent in both locations, one of the few comparisons.

“I think every experience is totally different,” Maners said. “The atmosphere I feel is different. Just a different group of girls. I think from a coaching perspective, I feel like I do a lot of the things the same, but looking back over the last nine years, I’ve definitely made some changes to some things that I think work better than others.”

Her first practice with players not participating in spring sports was April 14, and The Herald talked to her ahead of that session.

Leading into the practice, she had brief touchpoints with players and staff and started getting acclimated with facilities and game film.

“I’m very excited to get going, it makes it feel like it’s actually here, which is nice,” Maners said. “And honestly, what we’ve been waiting to do. I’m excited to get in front of the girls and put (in) some work in the gym.”

This role came about after conversations with athletic director Phil Kendall, who she was familiar with from his time as an assistant with Jasper girls hoops.

“I think several aspects, No. 1 they have a lot of pieces that make the coaching job really appealing,” Maners said. “I love the commitment by parents and from the girls. The competitive drive, just as Jasper, as a community as a whole, is second to none.”