Continuing the summer’s trend of musical coaching chairs, a couple of new faces will be among the varsity ranks at North Central Texas Academy in the upcoming school year.
Jodi Stevens will take over as girls head basketball and girls head track coach. Kari Yeager will be the head volleyball coach.
“They’ve both coached a lot and are great ladies,” said Chuck Shipman, NCTA chief operating officer.
Stevens previously coached at Sidney for five years and Gustine for two, Shipman said. He added that Yeager was previously a junior high coach in Whitney.
“They are both going to fit in with our program very well here,” said Shipman. “I could tell that right away, and we are very happy to have them on board.”
Stevens replaces Emily Britt, who left to become an assistant for coach Leta Andrews with the Granbury Lady Pirates. Britt played for Andrews in the late 1990s, even earning district MVP honors while playing alongside current WNBA standout Jia Perkins.
In her lone season as head coach at North Central Texas, Britt guided the Lady Pioneers to a Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools Class A state championship. It was their third consecutive title, the first two coming under the guidance of coach Tammy Evans.
“Emily had to take the job at Granbury. She was the perfect candidate,” said Shipman. “We will miss her greatly, but that’s where her heart is, and we understand that.
“We are, however, going to be just fine. We got a couple of very good coaches, so we won’t miss a beat.”
In addition, Shipman said the school will once again add baseball to its curruculum – but not at the varsity level. Derek Stevens, husband of Jodi, will institute a junior high program that will eventually lead to a high school program, Shipman said.
“We’ve got a bunch of kids moving up from sixth grade who have played together for awhile,” he said. “We’ll reinstate it in high school when they get there – and I can already tell they are going to be a very good team. There’s a lot of talent in that group.”
The Pioneers used to be a very successful program before discontinuing the sport a few years ago. They even advanced to the state finals a couple of times under former coach Brad Clanton.
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