Author Archives: dejaymeredith2004

How Kieff Coached Her Players

By Dejay Meredith

Michele Kieff

Michele Kieff

The fans of HACC basketball know Coach Michele Kieff’s signature pacing up and down the sideline. As she would stare at her players each game demanding them to play with more intensity. Her body language told the whole game’s audience she was all about winning while mentally pushing her players to better themselves in the game as well as in life.

Kieff coached women’s basketball team for thirteen seasons before she left. Last February, she decided to hang up her whistle. While she was coaching, Kieff helped students reach a potential that they were not aware they had.

Kieff had to work hard taking in the important traits that she would later use in her coaching career. Coaching greatness does not simply fall from the sky. She understood the game from playing four years of varsity basketball for Trinity High School before playing four more at Boston College. Kieff didn’t really come into coaching until she became the assistant basketball coach of her high school after six years of college. Kieff was then was hired as the head coach for the HACC women’s basketball team.

“She always had a way of making players better; players would join the program with good skills and would leave better than they started” said Lisa Cleveland, HACC Athletics Director. “Michele was intense; she was direct and up front with what she wanted from her players.”

Players say Kieff knew the game so well that she always used what talents she could fine in each individual and use it to the team’s advantage. Kieff always had a unique approach to building a team no matter who was playing for her.

“I played with the hand I was dealt and I wanted each player to know no matter what their talent level was, they had an important role to play” said Kieff. “Every season was a new team; I always felt I could prepare my team to be competitive no matter what kind of talent I had.”

There were certain lessons Michele wanted her players to learn that would stay with them for life while they play for her. She wanted each of her players to go beyond their own expectations.

“What you put in, is what you’ll get out; Nothing is ever handed to you; Persistence will get you somewhere” Kieff said. “Leave everything on the court. So whether you win or lose, you know you did everything possible to help your team win; it takes a team to win.”

Kieff was also big on communication, whether it was with coaches or players. “One piece of advice would be communicate; Communication is the key to being successful, everything else will fall into place.” Said Kieff.

At times there were defining moments where what Kieff taught her players wasn’t enough. There were times she wanted to put on a jersey and play to motivate her team. All she could do was stay on the sideline and give them words of encouragement.

“The times my teams were struggling was when I wish I could have gone on the court to help them.” Said Kieff. “But as a coach, you need to motivate them to play better—encourage them to push a little harder; I would say to them ‘I can’t play for you, this is your game.’ ”

Kieff always had great relationships with her players while letting the players know they could do great thing with what talent they had.

“She pushed me to be better” said Ashlan Clark, who played 2010-2012. “I’m so glad I had her as my coach, she taught me so many things and helped me take my game to a higher level.”

Kieff worked with all kinds of young women throughout her years at HACC, some of those women never played organized ball on an actual team.

Tawni Ruby who played 2010-2012 had this to say, “Coach always found a way to make people better, didn’t matter who was on the team or if they ever played.”

Kieff connected with her players as well as the next coach but she had a special way of challenging a player to do better. For instance, Kieff once came to practice dressed to play ball and personally guarded one of her players the entire time the team ran the floor just to make her hustle more. Michele didn’t mind lacing up the basketball kicks to help one person so that one person could help the team.

Within her style of coaching, Kieff always seem to know what she was doing whether it was with the team or with an individual.

“It was great watching her, you know she was great at giving her all and she expected the players to do the same” said Cleveland. “Michele demanded that everyone who puts on a jersey to give it their all, to do the best they can.”

Michele Kieff will always be known as one of best coaches in Harrisburg Area Community College history without a doubt. It is what she did with the players individually and as a team that everyone who knows her personally will remember. Kieff wanted her players to remember the lessons that would help them on the court as well as in life.

Leave a comment

Posted by on May 7, 2015 in Feature Stories


Tags: , , , , , ,

The Joys of HACCfest

By Dejay Meredith

Students going down the zip-line

The zip-line is one of many attractions available to students.

The Student Programming Board and Student Government Association held its first ever festival before exams in 2003. In 2009, HACCfest got its famous name and gained the attention from students and faculty.

Sometimes students just need to let loose. In order to connect, colleges across the country often hold student festivals and events when stress level are at their highest. or over a decade, HACC has been having events for students to wind down at the end of the semester by having activities like rock climbing, relay races, and raffle drawing contest.

The seventh HACCfest occurred on May 1 and lasted two days. Students participated in the many activities that were available for them. It was hard to tell that finals were coming up the following week.

“I think students benefit from HACCFest a lot–It helps students to get involved and get to know what the Student government can do for them” said Hayden Alison, SGA President. “Everything here is meant to be a stress relief.”

HACCfest has gotten bigger every year. According to both the SPB and SGA, this year’s HACCfest was a big accomplishment.

“I remember it use to be battle of the bands before HACCfest came about” said Jennifer Jackson, Director of Student Life. “We use to sell food and have good music with one or two activities so students wouldn’t just eat and leave; now it’s different. The students come and enjoy themselves and never want to leave because they’re having so much fun.”

Jackson went on to say what students get out of HACCfest. “Students get a certain experience at HACC that they wouldn’t get from another college atmosphere.”

“They can really get a great sense of community and get to meet other students at HACCfest” said Alison. “It’s a great way to get involved and moving forward getting to see what they have to look forward too.”

Students are not the only ones that get to participate in all the activities. The faculty and those in the nearby communities have always come to enjoy the festivities.

“Us faculty have more to do than just help the students graduate, this helps students see how to be involved with community activities.” Said Jackson. “When students see their professors in an outside classroom setting it brings a sort of relief to a student’s mind, I can tell by just looking at their faces.”

Anyone who has experienced HACCfest in the past and just remembers the rock climbing wall or music, they truly don’t know what there is to gain from this festival. All the money that is made from HACCfest has help Harrisburg city in some way.

“HACCfest has always been set up to support a non-profit organization” said Jackson. “This year all proceeds made will go to Wildwood Park Preservations.”

After talking to some students, it seems there is a lot to out of HACCfest. “I think it’s fun for the students to get involved and engaged in the different activities” said Simone Long, sophomore at HACC. “I plan on coming back after I graduate.”

HACCfest has done its job when it came to helping students simply calm down and think about something else before taking their last test of the year. If they’re taking summer classes, that’s a different story.

Leave a comment

Posted by on May 6, 2015 in Feature Stories


Tags: , , , , ,

SGA’s State of the Campus Address

By Dejay Meredith


Former SGA President Madeline Barber gave the State of the Campus Address on Wednesday April 29. Barber also swore in the new SGA president elect Hayden Alison along with the new senator representatives. Barber’s address highlighted the rift between students and the HACC Administration.

Barber gave the address to a small group of students and faculty. The most important topic that Barber touched on was the recent smoking ban that is to start in the fall semester.

“I think it’s important to have a connection between the college and its students, the student government is the bridge between the two.” said Barber. “The smoking ban is a good example of how the college left out the opinion of the students before making that decision—SGA is trying to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

When Barber finished her speech, she swore in the new president elect Hayden Alison who has attended HACC for two years and was a senator in SGA. Nine senator representatives were also sworn into SGA.

Alison briefly discussed his plans and his time working with Barber. “We hope to carry on the same ideas and to mix in some of our own next year.” said Alison. “I’m going to do my best to keep the same mindset as Madeline, she did a wonderful job in her position and I’m glad I had the pleasure of working with her.”

This is the 51st Senate of the Student Government Association at the HACC main campus. “Student Government is the voice of the thousands of students that we never hear from” said Jennifer Jackson Director of Student Life. “State of the Campus helps students stay connected to what’s going around them.”

Leave a comment

Posted by on May 6, 2015 in Hard News


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Harrisburg Hawks Search for a Head Coach

By Dejay Meredith


Men’s basketball team

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania—The HACC Athletics Department announced on March 1, 2015 they would start looking for someone to fill the head coaching position for the men’s basketball team. The department is searching for a head coach to replace former head coach John Murphy who resigned after two seasons. Read the rest of this entry »

Leave a comment

Posted by on May 6, 2015 in Hard News


Tags: , ,