Coach Bibbee transitions from field to court


Katie Carita, Assistant Sports Editor

Whether she’s running the lengths of the field, calling out plays for her team or teaching a new activity in gym class, Melissa Bibbee is involved in many programs around the school but most associate her with one thing: soccer. For ten years, Bibbee has the been the varsity girls’ soccer head coach. However, this winter Bibbee is adopting a new role in the athletic department by  coaching the girls’ junior varsity basketball team.

“Most people only know about my soccer background,” Bibbee said. “[But] before I came to Chantilly, I was the junior varsity girls’ basketball coach for six years at Langley and then varsity assistant for two years.”

Throughout her own high school career, at Herndon High School, Bibbee played varsity basketball in addition playing for a competitive Amateur Athletic Union team. She started to coach basketball when she graduated from college.

“After I had my kids, [coaching] was just taking up too much time, as I was actually coaching basketball, soccer and field hockey,” Bibbee said. “Now that my kids are starting to get a little older, I have a bit more time. Since the JV job was open, I figured [that] I would apply and see what happened.”

The JV basketball players are looking forward to a new season with a new coach. Ending last season with an impressive 11-5 record, the team is hoping that their new coach will help them improve both their game and speed this upcoming season.

“As a coach, one of her strengths will definitely be keeping us fit for the season,” sophomore and basketball player Kimmy Lee said. “She already has a good coaching strategy, and I’m sure there are soccer drills that can be transitioned into a basketball setting.”

While Bibbee is the head coach for the girls’ soccer program, in basketball she will be directly involved with the underclassmen girls.

“At the junior varsity level, I will mostly be focusing on teaching skill development and getting the players ready for the varsity level, unlike soccer where I oversee [the whole program],” Bibbee said. “I’ll absolutely be able to take my experience coaching soccer and apply it to how I coach the basketball team; coaching is coaching no matter what level it’s at.”

Many of Bibbee’s soccer players were surprised to hear that she would also be coaching basketball this school year. Nonetheless, they are excited for their coach’s new position and think  she will do a great job.

“She helps us improve and really wants us to strive to be better players,” junior and soccer player Jodi King said. “I think she’ll help the basketball players and be a good coach for them.”

Both basketball and soccer are team sports with the same basic objective- to score as many points as possible- but there is a huge difference in how coaches communicate with their players during games.

“Basketball is a lot more hands on. There’s a lot more that the coach is in control of during the game, as opposed to soccer, which is more of a player’s’ game,” Bibbee said. “All I can do really is yell instructions out onto the field, whereas in basketball I can call plays, timeouts, push defenses [and other instructions].”

Whether she’s playing or coaching, Bibbee is committed, enthusiastic and involved in women’s sports and she knows the importance of giving girls a good foundation in athletics.

“Aptitude to learn and how hard [a player] works are skills that apply to any sport and are important for the evaluation of players,” Bibbee said.

Bibbee is excited to work with the basketball players and knows that they will be just as dedicated as the soccer team.

“I love the student-athletes at Chantilly,” Bibbee said. “I think we have really hardworking female athletes that have a lot to offer and I’m looking forward to a little bit of a change.”