Cal Poly’s star point guard, Dye Stahley, will be returning to the Mustangs next year as a student assistant coach. The back-to-back Big West Best Hustle award winner said she has found it difficult to leave the sport that she loves.
“Knowing me, my personality, I’m just going to want to go out there and do it for them,” Stahley said. “Coaching is way different than being a player.”
“[Stahley] never lets a ball just roll by her,” head coach Faith Mimnaugh said. “She is on top of it like it’s the last piece of meat on Earth … she’s hungry.”
As a point guard for four years, Stahley established herself as both a play maker and defensive threat. In her final season, she became just the second woman in Big West history to lead the conference in both assists and steals in the same year. She even showcased her scoring talent with her career-high 23 point performance to propel the Mustangs to an overtime win this season.
“It’s a natural progression, easy for her,” Minaugh said. “She’s already got pretty good reps at doing that as a coach on the floor as a point guard.”
Stahley also ranked No. 45 nationally for assists and No. 65 nationally for steals. She is staying at Cal Poly for a fifth year in order to finish her bachelor’s of science degree in material engineering. As the team enters their 2019-2020 preseason training, Stahley could not help but show up.
“I want them to do so much better than me, personally, that I did in the program and how the teams in the past did in the program,” Stahley said, “If I can help by being a coach and help them experience that, then I’m all for it.”
Stahley has spent the past few weeks playing defense against the team during practices and running individual workouts.
“It’s thrilling to watch the progression,” Mimanugh said. “We try to empower our athletes and now to see her embrace that roll, being a person that can now empower and pour into other people, she is well suited for it.”
As Stahley transitions into her coaching role, sophomore guard Malia Holt is training to take Stahley’s place next season.
“I consider her someone I want to play my game after,” Holt said. “So I am super excited to have extra eyes on me out there so she can tell me what I am doing wrong or if I can do something differently.”
Stahley put up 445 total points, 341 assists, 260 rebounds, and 159 steals during her college career. She will graduate No. 15 in program history in both steals and assists.
“The coaches let me stay stuff when it needs to be said,” Stahley said. “They are definitely encouraging me to speak up and they trust me.”
A highlight for Stahley during her time as point guard was playing in the Honda Center for the semifinals of the Big West Conference Tournament during her junior season.
“I know that feeling and what it takes to be a championship program,” Stahley said. “I can bring that back to the players who don’t know what it’s like to be in the Honda Center and help bring that hunger for wanting more.”