After posting a winless season last year, the Milford Buccaneers girls basketball team will turn to a new head coach this winter.
Eric Sudler, a graduate of Archmere Academy in Wilmington, returns to Delaware after spending the last decade in New York. He was in a doctorate program at St. John’s University and coached at Robert Louis Stevenson High School, leading the boys team while serving as an assistant for the girls team.
“It was always my plan to return to Delaware,” Sudler said. “I very much enjoyed living in New York, but my family is here in Delaware and I wanted to be closer to them. When my daughter was born a year ago, my wife and I wanted to move to a place with a little more space to raise a family.”
A former player in his own right, Sudler brings loads of hardwood experience. Milford will open their 2018 season Friday, Nov. 30 at home against Laurel.
With nearly three decades in the game as player and coach, Sudler says he’s learned a lot about the game itself and how to take every positive out of each situation and use it for player and team growth.
“One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that success is not defined by the number of wins,” Sudler said. “One of the teams I’ve been most proud of was a team that won only one game all season.”
Sudler is also a psychologist, which he says is beneficial when managing things on the sidelines.
“My psychologist experience has been very influential to my coaching and vice versa,” Sudler said. “My doctorate in psychology gives me the confidence to manage different attitudes, conflicts and scenarios in order to provide the players with the tools they need to be successful. Coaching and my professional background overlap in many ways and makes for a very effective combination.”
What is his plan as Milford’s head coach? Sudler says the team will create goals with the future growth always the focus.
“By setting realistic individual and team goals the players will always be moving forward and growing as student-athletes whether they win a game or not,” Sudler said. “It’s been my experience that when the focus is shifted away from winning and more towards personal growth and camaraderie, wins and team success usually follow.”
Sudler says he wants to build a positive culture.
“Creating an atmosphere of trust, family and fun in my main goal,” Sudler said. “I believe in individualized plans and team plan, so the team and I will collaboratively generate goals once we start our season.”