‘Coming full circle’: Bishop Stang’s new girls basketball coach returns to alma mater
Kailyn Aguiar’s basketball career is circling back around: she played at Bishop Stang High School as a student less than a decade ago, and now returns as the newest girls head basketball coach.
“I would never have imagined coming full circle from athlete to coach now,” Aguiar said. “But I think it's a really fun experience and I'm super excited to help the female athletes on the team, because I was there.”
The announcement of Aguiar’s hiring follows the departure of longtime coach Julie Letourneau.
The Bridgewater State graduate and Acushnet native is coming off a head coaching stint at Montrose School in Medfield. While her first season as coach was largely canceled to the pandemic, she led the team to an undefeated championship victory the year after.
Coaching is also not her only gig: Aguiar recently opened a personal training facility in New Bedford at the Kilburn Mill, called Be F.I.T. Train. As a trainer, Aguiar said she focuses on discipline, but she also has a goofy personality and likes to incorporate that into workouts.
Aguiar said she’s excited to coach a passionate, strong program at Bishop Stang. While she had fun with the girls at Montrose School, she said that the program wasn’t as “involved” as she wanted it to be, and the players didn’t always want to be there.
“Through my whole career as an athlete myself, I never really had a team that we were just unified together,” Aguiar said. “That’s something I’ve always wanted… that’s how you grow collectively as a team.”
To that end, the new coach wants to focus on making the basketball team feel like a “family,” a feeling she experienced when playing for Bishop Stang’s field hockey team. She said that team was tight-knit and would spend time together off the field, such as at weekly team dinners. She hopes to bring a similar ethos to the girls basketball team.
“If you’re not unified as one, you’re just not going to look like a team out there. That’s just something I’ve always wanted as an athlete and now that I’m a coach I can really push for it,” Aguiar said.
Aguiar doesn’t yet know much about the new team, which she’s heard is a young, sophomore-heavy group, but her two coaching philosophies are “commitment and teamwork.” She’s also a believer in a strong defensive focus.
“I’m definitely a defensive coach, that’s something I just love doing as an athlete,” Aguiar said. “I believe that defense does win championships. If you’re not stopping that team on defense, you’re not going to go anywhere.”
At 26 years old, Aguiar isn’t too far removed from her own basketball career. She said one aspect of her Montrose School experience she loved was being a “big sister” to the girls on the team, and developing a mentoring relationship with them.
“It was really cute to have those little tiny friendships,” Aguiar said. “I’m just excited to put my own style on the team.”
Bishop Stang’s season will begin in January 2024, just after the start of the Spring semester.