CMU women’s basketball announces Kristin Haynie as new head coach
‘I'm new to being a head coach, but I'm not new to winning’
On Thursday, Central Michigan Athletics held an event announcing that the former Michigan State University assistant coach Kristin Haynie will take on the role of head coach for CMU women’s basketball.
“I'm new to being a head coach, but I'm not new to winning,” Haynie said in a press conference. “I want to thank the previous coaches here at CMU staff and administration for all your work leading to this point, specifically, you know, to Coach (Sue Guevara), who has been an amazing influence in both my personal life and professional life.”
Haynie is excited to take on the new role and is focusing on building the program and getting to know the community around it.
“It feels surreal,” Haynie later said in an interview. “Honestly, (it) hasn't hit me yet. I've been on the go the past 48 hours. You know, it's been great to just get to know the team, have meetings with them. And then I'm looking forward to even just getting out in the community and just giving back to the special community. And I wish the season started next month, but we got to wait a few months.”
This will be her first head coaching role after being an assistant for three different colleges including Eastern Michigan, CMU and MSU.
“I've had great mentors,” Haynie said. “You know, the last couple programs I've been at, with Coach Suzy Merchant and Sue Guevara, they've prepared me to be here. They prepared me to be a head coach, and not only on the court, but off the court too. They are wonderful human beings. I will have that relationship with them till the end. ... I'm just definitely excited. I've learned a lot from them, and I'll take my coaching from what they taught me.”
Haynie was an assistant coach for CMU under Guevara from 2014-17, helping the Chippewas to a Mid-American Conference Championship in 2017.
“She was with us for three years, and we did pretty well through it,” Guevara said. “And she was a part of that because our point guards were so good. And I'm just really happy that she's coming back. She knows the formula that it takes. She knows this community (and) how important this community is.”
Guevara added that because Haynie has the experience and has coached in a lot of places, it will bring new athletes to CMU in the upcoming years.
“I think because she went away to Michigan State and recruited probably a little wider than what we did here, she's made a lot of contacts,” Guevara said. “So she's got (a) really good name recognition because players make you a good coach. Your assistant coaches help you develop the talent, but you got to get it here first.
“We don't get five-star kids here. We don't get four-star kids here. We get one, two or three, or maybe no stars, but we get the kids with the hearts. And those are the kids that we have to get. Those are the kids that we develop, that want to be in that gym, that want to work. We have workers and that's what (Haynie) is, she's a worker.”
Following her assistant role with CMU, Haynie then moved on to become the assistant for MSU under Merchant from 2019-23, who previously played at CMU.
In early March of this year, Haynie was given an assistant coaching role at the Minnesota Lynx, and was there for a month before accepting the role at CMU.
Before taking a coaching position, Haynie also played college basketball with the Spartans, where she had the most assists and steals in MSU women’s basketball history.
Following her career with the Spartans, Haynie was picked ninth overall in the 2005 WNBA Draft. She was a part of the 2005 WNBA Championship team with the Sacramento Monarchs.
In attendance for Haynie during the announcement was her wife and daughter, along with her parents, grandparents and friends.
“It’s emotional," Haynie said. "It's amazing for them to drive up here. I know a few people (switched) meetings around and everything, so it's amazing for their support. I can't thank them enough, I can’t even put it into words. You know, they're my people. And I'm so excited that they're here.”