MISSOULA – Joslyn Tinkle can’t identify the last time she walked around Dahlberg Arena in Griz outfit.
There are too many memories from when his father, Wayne Tinkle, was an assistant and ultimately head coach of the men’s program while Tinkle and his siblings, Tres and Elle, were all growing up in Missoula.
Now, more memories will certainly come in the near future for the older brother of the trio.
Joslyn Tinkle was officially hired as an assistant coach for Montana Lady Griz on June 11, a big splash for new head coach Brian Holsinger who created a lot of excitement for Montana basketball fans. She is now a coach in a program where her mother, Lisa (McLeod) Tinkle, from Great Falls, once played.
“I was so excited to be able to share my experiences and help give back the best I can to these young women here wearing Lady Griz jerseys,” Tinkle told MTN Sports. “I’m delighted, it’s a dream come true.
“It sounds a bit surreal and I’m at a loss for words. I’m driving downtown Missoula and it looks a lot different, things have changed, but I just couldn’t be happier to be back at home.”
Tinkle is one of Montana’s most decorated basketball players, male or female. She joins the Lady Griz after spending her post-playing career at various jobs in Portland.
Coaching was something Tinkle told MTN Sports she was weighing in early 2020, with an AAU coaching opportunity in hand before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States. While in Portland, she also started a youth basketball organization between grades 3 and 12.
But she had a major priority to complete before pursuing her own coaching career.
“The main priority for me was to wait until I saw Tres play for my dad (at Oregon State),” Tinkle said. “So when he graduated, that’s when my interest kind of kicked in and I was chasing things and trying to have these conversations, but obviously COVID happened. , so that put a wrench into things. “
So, last spring when jobs started to open up, Tinkle said she had started looking seriously for jobs again and was waiting for the right opportunity that she finally found at UM.
“I was chomping at the bit on the potential opportunity to be here,” Tinkle said. “So when it all kind of fell into place, I knew that was exactly what was right for me. Coming home was what excited me the most.”
Tinkle’s new job with Lady Griz means his first college coaching job, but it doesn’t happen without good mentors.
Wayne Tinkle recently led the State of Oregon to the Elite 8 of the NCAA Men’s Tournament, and Joslyn’s Stanford varsity coach Tara VanDerveer is the most successful coach in basketball history. -women’s university ball.
Not to mention his new colleagues Brian Holsinger, Jordan Sullivan and Nate Harris, all of whom bring their diverse and extensive coaching experiences to bear.
“One of the reasons I was most excited to join this team was great people,” said Tinkle. “I join some great people who support me and help me learn. I’m a rookie here, so yeah, coming here I was a little nervous. I was excited because I knew I could help and that I would be able to make an impact right away and bring my experience and knowledge over the years. “
Under Vanderveer, Tinkle played for four seasons and started as a junior and senior for the Cardinal. With Stanford, Tinkle went to three Final Fours as well as a national championship game. After his playing days at Stanford, Tinkle played briefly in the WNBA with Seattle before ending his playing career overseas.
“Now not only am I talking about hoops or catching up with daddy it’s’ hey help me with that” and we share some coaching tips and then Tara, and she was really really helpful too and even in this process. to get into I hope and I would like to think that I had my ears open and absorbed some things in my time because she is an amazing coach, she is the best. “
“Coaching is about people and she’s got things you can’t teach people,” Holsinger added of her hiring Tinkle. “She’s so dynamic, she loves people, she’s someone who did a normal job. Coaching is not a normal job. So she knows what it was like and now she says, ‘It doesn’t. is not my passion. My passion is people and basketball. ‘And that’s what it is.
“The other thing is, she comes from a basketball family. She’s been around college coaches all her life because of her dad, so there’s an experience in that that’s really valuable too. “
Now, like her playing career, Tinkle begins her coaching career in Missoula.
And if that sounds like her time on the court when she won two Gatorade Player of the Year awards and two back-to-back Class AA titles with Big Sky, big things could be in store for Tinkle and Lady Griz.
“This program uplifted me, this community uplifted me,” Tinkle said. “It’s kinda weird how best to wear that Lady Griz shirt right now and walk over to Dahlberg and practice with these now Lady Griz players.”