Stepping back and standing in

PHS sports gain head coaches

Story by Seth Loudermilk, Reporter, Photographer

New head coaches have been appointed for volleyball, basketball and softball this year.

Science teacher Karen Curran is the new head coach for softball, Pittsburg Community Middle School Physical Education teacher Jordan Woods is the new boys’ basketball head coach and sophomore advocate Ashlen Schwartz is the new head coach for volleyball.

All three head coaches have a background in assistant coaching. Curran was the assistant coach and head coach at Fort Scott High School and had taught at Fort Scott for 27 years. Woods was previously the PHS assistant coach for varsity boys basketball for the last nine years. Swartz was the assistant coach at Parson Middle School and High School. 

“I am looking forward to coaching and hopefully having an impact on these kids’ lives and the future as well.” Woods said

Swartz said head coaching is different from her experience as an assistant coach. 

“Being a head coach is just a lot more responsibility as far as managing the program as a whole,” Schwartz said. “[There are] just a lot of things that you wouldn’t think about.” 

According to Woods, he decided to coach basketball because it is the sport he enjoys the most and has seen the most success for himself.

“[The responsibilities of being head coach are] scheduling practice every day to make sure everything [is] running smoothly,” Woods said. “[Being head coach is] just a challenge, and just like athletics, everyday is a challenge to get better, not just on your own, but as a team. I look forward to the challenge every day

“I think that winning is fun, I think that my goal as a coach is obviously to develop a program that is successful, but I think more than anything I want the girls to leave my program better people all around.” Schwartz said.

“Taking a kid from a level of adequate skill and watching them grow into an above-average athlete,” Curran said. “Them thinking they can’t do something and then making them believe that they can.” Curran said.

After 31 years of teaching, Curran will end her teaching career.

“As a head coach everything falls on your shoulders.” Curran said. “You rely on your assistant coaches,” 

All three coaches at  least did track and basketball in highschool. Schwartz had also done volleyball and powerlifting. While Curran also did volleyball, along with softball. Woods also did football when he was in highschool.

“Never give less than your best,” Curran said. “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth giving it your best.”