Former Division I athlete becomes female baseball coach (USA)
Kelsey Anchors didn?t set out to make history.
She just wanted to coach.
Now she?s getting the chance to do both this year.
A former Division I college softball player, Anchors takes over this spring as the new baseball coach at North Valley High School.
She?s the first woman to serve as a head baseball coach at the high school level in southern Oregon.
?I didn?t think of it like that,? Anchors said. ?I just want to coach, and I want to teach athletes.?
She?s also quite possibly the first in Oregon high school history. Oregon School Activities Association assistant executive director Brad Garrett said he?s unaware of another female head baseball coach in the state.
Anchors applied for the position last fall with the encouragement of North Valley Principal Erik Lathen and athletic director Tim Sam. She was an assistant softball coach at the school last spring and is a physical education teacher.
Sam wasn?t worried that hiring a woman for the baseball position might be viewed by some as a controversial move.
He only saw the positives.
After all, Anchors has the pedigree.
She was an All-State player at Olympic High School in Bremerton, Wash., then played four years at Oklahoma State, where the Cowgirls made the postseason three times, including a Women?s College World Series berth in 2011.
?I?ve found her to be a real kid connector, and for somebody who is newer to teaching, she has a real strength and maturity about her,? Sam said.
?Her experience as a World Series competitor at a Division I school was a plus. (Lathen and I) thought those were great attributes. She was somebody who was in our building, so it seemed like a no-brainer that she?s somebody we want to have coaching our kids.?
Austin Soler, a four-year varsity baseball player at North Valley, is excited for what his new skipper brings.
?She?s built a great coaching staff,? the senior catcher said. ?This is the most growth I?ve seen in a short amount of time. I?m loving the (discipline) she?s bringing to the program.?
It is not unusual for men to coach girls sports at the high and college level, and increasingly it is becoming not unheard of for women to coach high school boys.
Alex Parker coached boys soccer for two seasons at Illinois Valley High. There have been two female head wrestling coaches in the state in recent years in Carol Dauenhauer at Amity and Carla Baker at Chiloquin.
There?s even a female assistant football coach North Marion.
Baseball is the next step.
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