It’s not easy to play a college sport. And it’s not easy to coach a college sport.
After Cam Auld wrapped up his collegiate basketball career last year, he decided to jump right into coaching. Auld, a 2020 Waynesburg University graduate, has joined the Waynesburg men’s basketball coaching staff this season. For Auld, this challenge is brand new, as he has no prior coaching experience.
“This is my first rodeo as a coach,” Auld said. “I’ve had enough people tell me that I would be a good coach, so I decided I wanted to do it. People have always said I approach the game like a coach from a mental standpoint.”
In his time as a player for the Yellow Jackets, Auld served as a starter who did his job each time he stepped foot on the hardwood.
While Auld hadn’t necessarily planned on coming back to Waynesburg to coach immediately after his playing career had ended, the stars aligned and led him back.
“I think it bothered me the way things ended here because of COVID,” Auld said. “When I had the chance to come back here it just felt right. I just felt like my time at Waynesburg wasn’t done yet.”
Auld, fresh out of college, is now coaching the guys he played with on the hardwood not so long ago. While many coaches might be worried about that dynamic, head coach Tim Fusina had no reservations about bringing Auld back as a member of the coaching staff.
“Bringing a former player back this quickly can be concerning, but for me, it was never a concern,” Fusina said. “I know the way Cam carries himself and how much of a leader he was on the team last season, so I had no concerns. He’s a true leader.”
Auld hasn’t felt uncomfortable giving orders to his former teammates.
“The guys respect me,” Auld said. “They understand this is something I might try and do for a career, so they have been doing what they can to help me out.”
While Auld is becoming more invested in his future and in coaching each day, he wasn’t entirely sold on following coaching as a career path until he started at Waynesburg.
“I never wanted to be a full-time coach,” Auld said. “I wanted to be a guy with a 9 to 5 job who coached high school after work.”
The more he has worked with the Jackets and Fusina, the more he sees himself following the path into coaching. Fusina sees Auld’s potential as a coach and is excited about his future.
“He has a lot of potential,” Fusina said. “Great work ethic. Communicates. He has a great work ethic and has a passion for the game. Having passion is important. It’s not glamorous to start.”
While it may not be all glamour and glory to start, Auld is loving the coaching grind.
“They want me to do it all,” Auld said. “They’ve thrown me into the fire. They’re open to letting me do what I’m capable of. I help recruit, [and] at practice, I pull guys aside and tell them what I’m seeing. Just doing stuff like that has given me a taste of what coaching can be like.”
As the early days of Auld’s coaching career have been a great experience, he isn’t getting ahead of himself quite yet.
“My dream job would be taking over for Coach K,” Auld said. “But I’m so early in this career, I have a long way to go. I’m just taking it step-by-step. I want to soak it all in.”