New KP Girls Hoop Coach Siggens has the Right Stuff

Ken Hamwey Staff Sports Writer
Issue Date: 
December, 2017
Article Body: 

Based on three reliable assets in her background, Amy Siggens should be a dynamic coach for the King Philip girls basketball program.
Hired in September to replace Marty Crowley as the Warriors’ varsity coach, the 41-year-old Siggens played for Westwood in the early 1990s at a time when the Wolverines dominated the state by compiling a winning streak of 293 Tri Valley League victories during a 19-year span.
Her coaching experience is another plus. She’s been a freshman coach at Millis, a jayvee coach at Hopkinton, Ashland and Wellesley, a varsity coach at Ashland and a varsity assistant at Wellesley and Mount Ida College.
Siggens’ third plus is her blood lines. Before getting married, her name was Amy O’Brien and her father, Jim, was very successful as the men’s coach at Boston College before moving on to Ohio State.
The 5-foot-7 Siggens wasn’t just a role player at Westwood — she was the real deal. Playing guard and forward, she averaged 14 points, (763 total) 6 assists and 8 rebounds during a four-year varsity career that featured a record of 72-19. “I loved fast-break basketball,’’ Siggens said. “I was a fair shooter but my strengths were defense and distributing the ball.’’
Bill Riley was her coach at Westwood and he was on board as the amazing winning streak mounted. And, both he and Siggens were present when Holliston and its star, Kara Wolters, ended the national record at Westwood on Jan. 17, 1992.
“Being part of the winning streak was amazing,’’ Siggens said. “There was excitement and pride and it created swagger for the girls. The loss was hard to swallow. We felt like we let people down. To watch Holliston celebrating on our court was difficult.’’
Siggens graduated from Westwood in 1994 and attended Boston College, where she played for a year on the varsity after walking on. The death of her mother when Siggens was a 14-year-old freshman at Westwood was difficult, perhaps playing a role in her leaving BC. She worked at various jobs, moved to Ohio when her father became the Buckeyes coach, then returned to the Bay State, working in financial banking and also at some basketball camps.
“I eventually got married and knew I wanted to stay involved with basketball,’’ Siggens said. “I got to know Rita Atkinson, the Holliston coach who ended our streak, and later asked her about coaching positions. She was at Hopkinton and offered me a jayvee post there. I left after a year when my son (Aiden) was born.’’
Siggens, however, pursued more coaching posts and during her five stops became Ashland’s varsity chief. In her only varsity year, the Clockers qualified for the tourney.
“I learned so much from many quality coaches and it was all great preparation for King Philip,’’ Siggens said. “My goals at KP will, of course, be to qualify for the playoffs and win championships. But, in year one, we’ll focus on daily improvement and building a program through player development. We’ll adjust as needed and will strive to find balance.’’
Siggens, who lives in Attleboro, initially met her team on Oct. 10 about five weeks after her hiring, and the meet-and-greet event went well. “We talked about expectations and that everything will be earned and nothing will be given,’’ she emphasized. “We discussed the importance of team play and a family atmosphere. We’ll bond and have team dinners and trust will be built. But, the key will be hard work, commitment and dedication.’’
KP’s athletic director, Gary Brown, is delighted with the appointment of Siggens. “Amy is an outstanding leader who is a great addition to the KP community,’’ Brown said. “She’s an enthusiastic leader who truly believes in KP core values of respect, accountability, responsibility and excellence.”
Siggens, who’s watched film of last year’s games, knows her Warriors are young. She’s acutely aware that there’ll be a period of transition that could result in adjusting her coaching style and a need to learn more about the Hockomock League.
“The league is strong and I’m excited to be part of it,’’ she noted. “We’ll adjust, depending on our talent level. I like to run and I view defense as ultra important. It wins games. Also, I’ll teach basics and there’ll be accountability. We may also need patience.’’
The Warriors, who open their season on Dec. 12 at home against Milford, will quickly discover that Siggens has few rules but she does stress discipline. “Commitment, pride and respect are the ingredients I see as important,’’ said Siggens, who’s working on a bachelor’s degree from Providence College. “As I get to know everyone, we’ll work to build a solid philosophy and culture. There’s a learning curve but we want to get on the good side of it.’’
Drawing players from three towns is a situation Siggens has never experienced. She says she’s eager to see how it works. “It could be a huge advantage,’’ she said. “I want all the kids in the district to attend KP and it’s an exciting opportunity to draw from three towns.’’
Calling Riley, Atkinson and Glen Magpiong (Wellesley) coaches whom she considers great mentors, Siggens knows that her dad is always available for advice. “My role model, he’s taught me so much about the game,’’ she said. “He’s a fantastic resource.’’
The KP athletic department and administrative staff appear to have made a superb choice to guide the girls program. Siggens’ coach at Westwood effectively sums up her grit and determination as a player — assets that no doubt will be evident in her coaching style.
“I consider Amy as the most competitive player I’ve had in the 30-plus years I’ve coached women’s basketball,’’ Riley said. “She overcame personal hardships, injuries and health concerns to perform at such a terrific level.’’