VENTURA, Calif. - Chelsea Carlisle (Oaks Christian) exhausted her four years of athletic eligibility at UC San Diego once she graduated last spring.
But Carlisle still attends every women's basketball practice and appears at every game.
The Agoura Hills native has made the transition from a player to an assistant coach at UCSD this season.
A month after she was hired, new UCSD head coach Heidi VanDerveer asked Carlisle to join the staff.
"Basketball is a tremendous passion of mine, and I always knew I wanted to do something around the sport," Carlisle said. "Coaching just kind of came up. I love UCSD and it's a huge part of my heart, so I just couldn't pass up that opportunity to combine those two things."
Carlisle, 22, brings an insider's knowledge of the program to the job after just completing a successful four-year career.
The three-time All-American guard is UCSD's all-time assists leader (575) and ranks second in scoring (1,950 points) and steals (262).
Despite coaching some of her former teammates, Carlisle hasn't faced any conflict in her new role.
"The transition has been pretty good. I feel like I have been able to bridge the gap between the two," she said. "I understand where the players are coming from and where the coaches are coming from. I am not out there yelling and screaming at them. It's more explaining the coaching side."
Carlisle has enjoyed learning the nuances of the profession from VanDerveer, whose sister is Stanford women's coach Tara VanDerveer, and UCSD lead assistant Betsy Butterick.
"Heidi and Betsy are both awesome people and tremendous to work with," Carlisle said. "One of the things I am so thankful for is being able to learn all the different areas. I am doing recruiting, scouting, game preparation and paperwork. We kind of split up the work evenly. It's great because I know at a lot of places it isn't like that."
Although Carlisle is grateful to get her foot in the door at such a young age, she is not making any projections about her future.
"I really don't know if it's something I want to pursue. I am just taking this year and seeing how I like it," she said. "But I am really enjoying it right now and learning as much as I can."
-- UCSDtritons.com --