Coach Coates: Striving for greatness

Even though she is a newer coach, Coach Primecha Coates, an assistant track and field coach at Grambling State University since 2017, has big goals and dreams for the GSU Track Team. 

Over the past decade, the GSU track and field team has been awarded with over 34 championship rings. 

Prior to her coaching career, Coates was a recipient of some of those rings as a track athlete at Grambling and as such she understands the esteem that Grambling track holds, especially among the schools in the Southwestern Athletic Conference. 

As a former athlete, Coates hopes that while coaching she can continue the excellence that Grambling Track and Field already abides by.

“I have only coached for two years, but each year I want us to be better than we were in the previous year.” Coates said. “Even in years where we win a SWAC Championship, it should not make the team complacent in their title. Instead, I intend to push the movement that we become even better, especially because of the target that is on the backs of our athletes.” 

Coates makes it a point of emphasis that constant improvement should always be a key for herself and her athletes. 

In pursuit of pushing her athletes, Coates also pushes herself to become a better coach to each athlete. 

“I want to continue to learn and grow to become a better coach every year,” Coates said. “I try to make sure that I am a good communicator with the athletes so they can be in a position where they are comfortable to bring me their problems, while also being a great leadership presence to help keep the team under control.”  

Coates knows that there is no such thing as the perfect coach, but she hopes to continue to improve herself for the well being of the team and the continuous success of the track and field program.

Coates feels the great difference there is between being a collegiate athlete as opposed to being the coach of collegiate athletes. The challenges that come with coaching adults are of a different type, especially being an adult that has to be a supervisor to other adults. 

“Being a coach comes with a lot. You have to deal with every person on the team, that comes with dealing with different flares and attitudes,” Coates said. “In my earlier days, I would not always handle these situations appropriately, but when you are a coach you learn that there are ways to effectively deal with the negativity within a team in ways that can be beneficial to the team members.” 

The difficulties within a team is something that Coates tries her best to adjust to. Since she was formerly an athlete, she understands the frustrations that student athletes undergo, and tries her best to do whatever is in the best interest of the team. 

“I just embrace the unexpected,” Coates said. “Whatever is around the corner, whether it be hardships or triumphs, it is meant to make you into a better version of yourself and propel you to the next level, so I just deal with it.” 

This attitude of progression is one that she teaches to her team, so that they continue to learn how to deal with life’s hardships both on and off the track. 

“I want our team to dominate conference and get some qualifiers into the NCAA Championship,” Coates said. “I hope to witness individual growth in the athlete's academics and personal lives through the values taught in track and field.” 

Coates’ positivity and constant pushing towards being better in the future is what she prides her team on and this attitude may be what keeps the flow of success running for GSU’s track program.