Volleyball coach stepping down after 1st season
Kristen Anthony announced this week that she will leave her teaching job at the end of the school year and therefore will be stepping down as head coach of the Basehor-Linwood High School volleyball team.
Anthony will be getting married and will be moving to the Wichita area, where her fiance has a job teaching and coaching.
Anthony leaves the program under happy circumstances, but said it will still be hard for her to go.
"It was not my intention at all to come here for just one year, especially with the success we had at the end of the year," Anthony said. "It was a very tough decision."
The Lady Bobcats were awfully young last year, with no seniors and only two juniors. They went through some growing pains early, but came on late. The season's highlight was a playoff upset against second-seeded Sumner Academy. With all the players returning, Anthony will leave behind a solid program and a team that should be competitive with any in the Kaw Valley League.
"I feel like I really built a foundation and a great assistant coaching staff," Anthony said.
Anthony said she and her fiance broke down the pros and cons of moving and in the end his grandma made them an offer they couldn't refuse: a house. She was moving into an assisted living community and offered to let the young couple have her soon-to-be-vacant home. For two young people working in education that offer was just too good to pass up.
On the other hand, though, there were Anthony's beloved players. She knows that by leaving she will force them to adapt to their third coach in three years, which is difficult for them and her.
"I told some of the girls this week and they were crushed," Anthony said. "I know there hasn't been a lot of consistency for them and I hate to think that I'm contributing to that... They'll be great with or without me. It's more of a selfish thing, because I want to be part of that."
Anthony said she'd like to keep in touch with some of her BLHS players, even as she moves on to other coaching jobs. Meanwhile, BLHS Athletic Director Joe Keeler is left looking for another volleyball coach.
"It's too bad, we hate to lose her," Keeler said of Anthony. "We'll be opening up that position here soon, we'll be tackling that as soon as possible."
Anthony said she would help the new coach as much as he or she wants, at least until she leaves in June. Then she'll thank her BLHS family and move on to other things.
"I'm really grateful that I was able to come here and have everyone take me in with such open arms and support," Anthony said. "I never felt pressure from parents or the school and as a young, single girl that was so nice. It's something that I didn't expect and something that I know I might never experience again."
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