July 19, 2012
LOGAN, Utah - With the hiring of a new women's basketball head coach, Jerry Finkbeiner, this May came the restructuring of the remainder of the coaching staff. Throughout July, we will introduce each member of the staff, helping Aggie fans get to know them.
Robert "Dip" Donaldson comes to Logan after a long career in Europe. Following a 25-year playing career, he worked as the general manager of the Coventry Crusaders, a team that plays in the English Basketball League.
Donaldson played collegiate basketball at Northwest Nazerene in Nampa, Idaho where his name is still in the record books. He and his wife, Beth, have six children, five boys and one girl.
Tell us about yourself: "I was raised in Sacramento, Calif., in a military family. My dad was in the Air Force and was stationed overseas in England, so that's where I was born, but they only stayed there for six weeks after I was born. I have one sister and two brothers. I went to a junior college in Sacramento, then up to Northwest Nazarene in Idaho.
"After that, a basketball agent found out I had been born in England. If you're born on the Queen's soil, you're British, even if you're parents are American. They allowed me to have dual nationality, so after graduating I went over and played basketball. I was involved in basketball for the 25 of the 27 years I was over there."
What is your favorite part about coaching? "My favorite part is the mental aspect of motivating players to bring out their best."
Describe the other coaches in just a few words: "For Jerry (Finkbeiner) that's an unfair question, I've known him for 30 years. He's got a good vision and high expectations. He wants to be successful, so he's given us all the tools to do that with no hesitation.
"Stu (Sells) is high-energy. He gets a lot done. He's very focused on bringing in the best players we can.
"I've only known Micha (Vandervort) for a less than a month, but she's had a chance to work under Jerry so she has the insight and the working knowledge. She's been trained by Jerry, so I think she has a good hold, a good grasp, of balance in working with the girls. Right now she's the person behind the scenes, orchestrating the things Stu and I get done."
What was the draw for you to come to Utah State? "Learning from and working with Jerry. I'll be in the position to pick up new ideas and accept the challenge of coaching college basketball."
What is your biggest goal for the season? "We want to get to the NCAA Tournament. That's the team goal, and that's my goal. If we get there, that sets us up for the future."
What's a fun or little-known fact about you that might surprise people? "If I gave that away, everybody is going to know! I love music, a whole mix of it - soulful, inspirational, spiritual, gospel. I also have six children, ranging from age 9 to 22, I guess that's interesting.
Fans can follow USU women's basketball on twitter at http://twitter.com/UtahStateWBB, as well as on facebook, at https://www.facebook.com/USUAthletics.
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