After a very successful 2004-2005 season, the Bowdoin Women's Basketball Team has added another weapon to its arsenal: Julie Veilleux. But instead of a reliable outside shot or a presence in the paint, Veilleux's contribution will be from the sidelines as an assistant coach.

A Maine native, Veilleux, comes to Bowdoin basketball after a successful high school and college career. Selected three times for the Maine All-State Basketball Team in high school, Veilleux went on to the University of Maine, where she lettered all four years and averaged 7.6 points per game in her senior season.

Upon graduating with a degree in education in 1994, Veilleux was undecided on whether to teach or to continue playing basketball.

"Until this summer, I wasn't sure what I was going to do," she said. "But then head coach [Stefanie] Pemper contacted me in early July, and told me there was a job opening here as assistant coach. I jumped at the chance, because coaching seemed like the best of both worlds. I would get to stay involved with basketball while working with people."

Veilleux successfully transitioned from being on the court to directing from the sideline.

"So far, things are going really well. I'm learning a lot," she said.

Official practices with the squad, which began November 1, have been exciting for Veilleux. "Coaching doesn't feel like a job to me. It's too much fun."

Veilleux credits the athletic program at Bowdoin and head coach Stefanie Pemper for the team's past achievements, both on and off the court.

"Here, the girls love the game and strive to improve, but they're also focused on academics," she said. "It's truly remarkable the balance they achieve and I think that's a reflection on the athletic program and also the tremendous work Steph has done with the players."

Although Bowdoin is a perennial powerhouse, both in the NESCAC and in all of Division III, Veilleux realizes the importance of keeping past successes and future expectations in perspective.

"The most important thing this basketball team can do is to take each day as it comes," she said. "If we stay focused during every practice and game, that's what will make the difference down the stretch."

The team's season begins tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. at the Eastern Connecticut State University tournament.

"I feel fortunate to be here coaching, and I'm psyched about the season," Veilleux said. "It's gonna be a blast."