Alesha Robertson tends to take everything in stride, so she handled one of the biggest moments of her life - being hired as head coach of the Wayland Baptist University Flying Queens - by participating in one of her other great loves besides basketball.
She went fishing.
But after spending a couple of days on the water in New Mexico, Robertson was back in the gyms of West Texas, and today she was formally introduced as head coach of the winningest women's basketball program in the nation.
"This is definitely something new and exciting for me," said Robertson, who was introduced during a press conference held prior to a public reception inside Hutcherson Center. "I wanted to coach at the college level, I just didn't realize that I would be doing it this quickly."
WBU Athletics Director Dr. Greg Feris said Robertson fits Wayland's philosophies perfectly.
"Alesha brings great excitement and enthusiasm to the Flying Queens program," Feris said. "She is a young woman whose faith and high principles are her signature. Her integrity and character make her a perfect fit for the university. I have no doubt that she will be a strong, positive role model for our student athletes as well as the young women she recruits."
Feris went on to say that Robertson has been a success in many areas.
"She has proven herself as an exemplary high school and college player, coached and won a state championship, and displayed her entrepreneurial spirit by spearheading and organizing Hoop55," a basketball league based in Lubbock.
The 28-year-old Robertson is the 13th head coach in the history of the Flying Queens program, replacing Tory Bryant who recently resigned after six seasons. Like Bryant, Robertson also is a native of Plainview, having moved here from Carlsbad, N.M., when she was 2 years old.
"(Wayland) is a perfect place for me to start (coaching) at the college level," she said. "I have a big support system that will help me."
Robertson' father and mother, the Rev. Don and Barbara Robertson, and the oldest of her three brothers, Steve, all graduated from Wayland. Alesha said she often attended Flying Queens basketball games as a young girl.
"My brothers and parents would take me to watch Hazel (Taylor) play. They had some good teams," she said, adding that as a player at Plainview High School she participated in the Queens Classic, a longtime tournament hosted by Wayland over the Thanksgiving holidays.
"(Wayland) has been a part of my life forever," Robertson said. "It's nice to be able to come back."
And while her father recently retired as longtime pastor of College Heights Baptist Church and her parents moved over the weekend to Lubbock to be closer to grandchildren, Robertson said she's excited to make the move from Lubbock back to Plainview, where her grandmother lives.
"God placed (Wayland) in my life for a reason," she said.
Robertson said her father told her that timing is everything, explaining that he made his decision to retire and move before she was hired as Flying Queens coach.
"He said if I was hired (at Wayland) earlier, he wouldn't have retired, and he said he needed to," she said. "God had a lot to do with that."
As a player, Robertson became a legend in Plainview by helping the PHS Lady Bulldogs to three consecutive Class 4A state championships from 2001-03 and earning all-state four times. She went on to play four seasons for the Texas Tech University Lady Raiders, the first three under head coach Marsha Sharp, a WBU alum, and her senior season under current Lady Raider coach Kristy Curry.
Robertson earned both All-Big 12 and Academic All-Big 12 honors, and her senior season she averaged a team-high 13.2 points and 8.7 rebounds. She holds Lady Raider records for most 3-pointers in a game (9) and second-most points in a game by a sophomore (37).
Robertson said playing in the Big 12 will help her as a coach in the Sooner Athletic Conference, one of the toughest NAIA conferences in the country.
"I went through that with the Big 12...that was a hard conference. But if I'm going to play in a conference, I want it to be the toughest. I like challenges. It's going to be fun."
Feris is confident Robertson has what it takes to make the Flying Queens even more competitive in the SAC. The Flying Queens - with no seniors on their roster - were 15-16 last season, including 7-9 in the SAC, and lost in the first round of the conference tournament.
"Alesha comes to Wayland with the knowledge that the Sooner Athletic Conference is one of the toughest NAIA basketball leagues in the country," he said. "Those who have watched her play or coach know that she is intensely competitive and driven to succeed. It is our belief that she will bring that same intensity, skill and work ethic to the Wayland Baptist University Flying Queens."
Robertson said her ultimate goal for the Flying Queens is to return the team to the NAIA National Tournament, for which Wayland has qualified only once in the past nine years.
"I want to get them to have a winning season and continue to keep getting better," she said of her immediate plans, "but the goal is always to go all the way. I don't want my players to go into any season thinking we can't go all the way. Otherwise, you might as well not play."
Robertson spent the past two years as head girls' basketball coach at Lubbock Christian High School, this past season guiding the Lady Eagles to the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) Class 3A state championship. She also was a head coach and teacher at the Sharp Academy in Lubbock, working with children with learning disorders.
She said it was difficult saying "goodbye" to LCHS.
"They were good to me. There are a lot of good people over there," she said. "When you spend that much time with kids you can't help but fall in love with them, especially when they fight as hard as they did for me. I loved those girls, but they understood my decision. I think they took it better than I did.
"That's one thing about this business. They (players) are either going to leave you or you're going to leave them."
Robertson said working with young people is one of her passions in life.
"I love to motivate kids to do things that they don't think they're capable of," she said. "A huge part of being successful (as a coach) is making kids better and helping them continue to grow. I've been at that level and know what it takes to be a successful player, and if I can help them any way with that then I will."
She said she also enjoys the aspect of coaching that fosters relationships with young people off the court.
"I always stress (to my players) the life lessons that basketball brings. In fact, those are playing a huge part in my life right now."
Robertson said she's thrilled about being the Flying Queens head coach and is excited about getting started.
"It's a good opportunity, one that God placed in my life for a reason, and I'm going to run with it," she said. "It's exciting. I'm a little bit nervous, but we'll run with it."