Mustangs trending upward in Coach Shanele Stires first season

Posted at 11:56 PM, Feb 02, 2023

Cal Poly's Faith Mimnaugh was the face of Mustang women's basketball for 26 years but after her retirement last year, there’s a new leader guiding the team through this season, Shanele Stires, who had her work cut out for her taking over a team that went 3-22 last season.

Stires came in after six years as head coach of Cal State East Bay confident that despite their record from last season and their struggles this season, the program is trending back upward.

“You know, anytime you take over a program, I think that there is always a period of adjustment,” Stires stated.

Many of the games this season have been decided by a few possessions or less leaving little doubt internally that this team has improved dramatically under Stires and her staff.

“You lose games that come down to a possession or two, it's easy to get discouraged,” Stires admitted. “But I also think as much as we want to be results focused, we also want to be process driven.”

At the end of the day though, most people are judged by the win-loss column; an obvious blemish for this year’s Mustangs team who’s record currently sits at 6-13 on the season which means there’s still plenty to fix.

“At the end of the day, we’ve come up a possession or two short,” Stires said. “There's still probably 10-percent out there to be had in improvement. Where do we find it?”

Luckily, it hasn’t fully deterred the resolve of an experienced roster that has already persevered through the lowest of lows from last season’s 3-22 record.

“There's been moments where they they've struggled with that, but for the most part, they have been a really great group to work with and they are a fabulous group of girls, really high character young women and I think that they're going to get better and better as time goes on.”

With over a month left in the season, there’s still time to climb the ladder and improve upon what has already been a turnaround season for Stires and her team.

“It's a long season and there's still a lot of opportunity ahead of us.”

The Mustangs picked up a big win against UC Santa Barbara on Thursday night to break a four-game losing streak.