Basketball has been a way of life for Tiffany Gonigam. It, however, is giving way to a real life event in her future.
Gonigam is stepping down after five years as head varsity girls basketball coach at Princeton High School with the anticipation of having her first baby. She said it was a “difficult decision in some ways,” because her time as PHS coach “has been pretty special to me,” but it was the right one for her.
“I’m expecting my first child in late October, so it was just the right decision for me and my family, to kind of take a timeout for now,” she said. “I don’t picture myself out of the game as a coach forever. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get back into it at some point, but for now, I’m just looking forward to watching my daughter growing up.
“I’m not sure if it’s a 30 or a full, but it’s timeout for now.”
Gonigam, who will remain as social studies teacher at PHS, said the pandemic has taught everyone about the priorities in life.
“We all learned a lot about the values and priorities of life. We had so much taken away from us as an entire society, our world,” she said. “I especially learned the value of time and just how important that is. I’ve heard from many great parents before me that it (the time with your child) will go by very fast and I’m just looking forward to taking as much time as I can to be with me family.”
In five years, Gonigam compiled a 48-73 record at PHS. The Tigresses went 5-5 in the abbreviated 2021 season.
“I think the program is in good shape and should be exciting to watch the girls for years to come,” she said.
Gonigam said she was really proud of how her players grew in each season and played their best basketball at the end of the year.
“While we may not have walked away with any hardware, to be able to walk away and see how much the kids have grown and kind of put some goals in front of them, and see them meet them, or at least know how far they have come at the end of the year, that was really special,” she said.
Gonigam said the relationships she built with the kids and their parents “has really meant a lot.”
Prior to coming to PHS, Gonigam was head coach four years at Bureau Valley, her alma mater, for four years from 2012-16, going 42-71.