Jeff Cali Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
WIth a daughter that’s starting high school next fall, Scott Simpson felt like it was the perfect time to step away as head coach of the Ada High softball team.
It was also a great time for assistant coach Erin Fixico-Mitchell to jump right in to the job.
Ada won 23 games in 2012, the most wins in a season under Simpson’s watch, but stumbled to an 8-19 record in 2013.
“I’ve enjoyed it, but I’m ready to move on,” Simpson said. “I never really wanted to do it for a real long time. I have been very fortunate the last six years to carry on what coach Sharon Dean started with Ada fast pitch softball, but I feel now it is time to let someone else take Ada softball to the next level.”
Ada athletic director Mike Anderson made the announcement of the softball switch last week.
“I can’t thank Scott enough for his work and dedication to our athletic programs over the years and want to wish him the best with his new responsibilities,” Anderson said. “Coach Simpson has been an important part of Ada High School athletics since his playing days as a Cougar basketball player. He was my assistant coach during my first year at Ada High School and has been associated with our softball program both as an assistant and most recently, as our head coach.”
Simpson said he wanted to free up his time to make sure his daughter Whitney starts off her high school years on the right foot.
“It will be nice to be home more at the beginning of the school year during her high school years to make sure she is taking the classes she needs to get ready for college,” he said.
Simpson said when the high school softball coaching position came open when Sharon Dean resigned, he wanted to continue to coach a strong group of junior high players who were about to begin high school careers. That bunch included the likes of Jenna Huling, Blakley Franz and Taryn Jack.
“I kind of wanted to stick with them through high school. At first it was just to continue to coach that group — especially Taryn. She’s almost like a daughter to me now,” he said.
Simpson, who will coach some junior high golf and do some public address announcing for different Ada sports throughout the year, said he’s glad to have had the opportunity to coach the Lady Cougar softball squad.
“I have played in, coached in, and observed some very fun, exciting athletic events, but some of the most fun I have ever had in athletics was coaching Ada High School softball. I will miss coaching with Elliott Alberson, Taryn Jack, and Erin Mitchell a lot,” he said.
Mitchell will dive right into her duties this spring. Mitchell is a former Konawa High School standout who spend some time as the assistant softball coach at Latta before moving to Ada two years ago. She is also an Ada girls basketball assistant coach.
“Erin has a very strong softball background, both as a player and as a promising young coach. We are fortunate to have someone with Erin’s abilities and expertise available to us now and are excited for her and our softball program moving forward,” Anderson said.