Behind the Team: A Look Into Coach Rohde


Coach Rohde and husband Matt with Baby Rohde.

Maureen Schick, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Almost all students at Notre Dame Academy know a lot about the two-time state championship winning girls’ basketball team, but how many students know about the brains behind the team?

Girls’ basketball coach Sara Boyer-Rohde has been a part of the Notre Dame basketball program for three years now, but her basketball career started long before.

Coach Rohde attended high school at Rapid River High School in Rapid River, Michigan. During her tenure there, she was a  standout athlete in basketball, track and volleyball, earning 12 varsity letters. In her high school basketball career alone she was named the Upper Peninsula Class D Basketball Player of the Year, became the all-time leading scorer in school history with 1,758 points, and led Rapid River High School to state runner-up finishes two years in a row.

After completing high school, she continued her basketball career at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay where she again was a standout player. During her time as a Phoenix, she scored 1,115 points. She also was third on Green Bay’s career record list with 160 three-pointers made and fourth on the list with 376 total attempts.

“UWGB gave me some of the most memorable times of my life,” said Coach Rohde. “I don’t think I could have asked for a better college experience academically, athletically or socially.”

After her career at UWGB, she couldn’t imagine basketball not being a part of her life, so she started her coaching career as an assistant coach there under Head Coach Kevin Borseth. She was the assistant coach there for two years before she moved to Spain for three years to learn Spanish.

When she returned, she accepted the position as head junior varsity basketball coach at Notre Dame and eventually became the head coach. She said that a lot of her coaching philosophies come from playing at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and learning under Coach Borseth. “He was a great mentor to me and taught me a lot about the game of basketball.”

This coaching philosophy proved extremely successful when in her first two years of coaching at the varsity level, she coached the team to back-to-back state championships.

Coach Rohde says she prepares for the games by “watching a lot of film, coming up with a game plan and strategy for the opponent, and then taking that plan into our practices with the girls.”

During their daily practices, the coach loves to get out on the court to practice against the girls any chance she can. However, she says the “hardest part is practicing with them and watching what I need to watch to make sure we are getting better as a team. So a lot of times, I don’t get to practice as much even though I love any opportunity to bang up on them!”

Junior guard Olivia Campbell said, “Sara pushes us so we can become the best players we can possibly be. She makes things challenging but still fun.”

Coach Rohde says the player from Notre Dame that plays the most like her would be a combination of Brianna Byrne and Allie LeClaire, both of whom were a part of a Rhode state championship winning team. Why?  Because they are shooting guards and drivers like herself.

The coach met her husband, Matt Rohde, while in college. She says that he was on the men’s basketball team, and they were friends all throughout college. He was a standout player on the men’s team as well, and the girls on the Notre Dame varsity team seem to have a major fascination with him.

Coach Rohde said she “is used to it, and I even fuel their fire about it sometimes. I made bets with them this year to Facetime him, and it’s a lot of fun.” She added that “Matt gets embarassed about it too.”

As for her future aspirations, she says she is “content coaching at NDA and teaching right now. I am really happy doing what I am doing.”