ODESSA, TX (KWES) - U.T.P.B.'s Women's Basketball Coach Rae Boothe is in her first season coaching the Falcons. Coach Boothe grew up in a military family as her step dad was a doctor in the Air Force. When she was in 6th grade, they made a big move from Illinois to Germany and that was an eye opening experience not only for because she had to learn a new culture but also her love for basketball grew stronger.
"When I was there I played on an all German basketball team. My coach was American, he was actually a teacher on base but the rest of the players were all German. Learning to play was great because the games were a little bit different. Really got to experience a lot as a basketball player in Europe traveling and I knew then this is what I definitely want to do as a player and then ultimately coach," said Boothe.
After 18 months in Germany, they moved for the last time to Pensacola, Florida. While playing in high school and college, Boothe tore her right ACL four times.
"I played my entire junior year of high school without an ACL, which was probably the mistake made. They took it out and I probably dislocated my knee about 15 times that year and it was terrible. But they gave me an option play or don't play and I wanted to play," said Boothe.
As the saying goes those who can't do, teach, so during her last year of eligibility, Boothe shadowed her coach and found a new love for the game.
"I actually started as a student assistant then went on and followed him as his assistant. Started a program actually from ground zero up. It was a school in Atlanta and we started the first basketball class. I stayed there for four years. And that was kind of the beginning I would consider of my career," said Boothe.
Coach Boothe started at Brenau University in Atlanta for four years then continued her career in Wichita, Kansas, for seven years. She then finally made her way to West Texas.
"Playing was fun. I don't think I took a day for granted and I hope our players cherish that moment and their time because that runs out. But after I got hurt, I knew I had to do something, I can't leave the game I love. So I took that passion into coaching and learning and trying to become the best coach I possibly can everyday," said Boothe.
Coach Boothe is confident in her team that they will be able to accomplish a lot with the second round of conference play coming up and believes everyone in this league is beatable so they just have to play hard the full 40 minutes.