By Chuck Reherman
In what was a surprise to most, Yukon’s head softball coach Heather Shanahan resigned recently.
Shanahan “turned in her keys” and is leaving coaching to take a position at Christ the King Catholic School. She cited spending more time with her family as the reason for stepping down.
Shanahan spent six years at Yukon.
“It’s kind of sad for me to leave Yukon, but I am happy for my future,” Shanahan said. “My decision was based on my family. I took a position where I am closer to home and can spend more time with my family. My son goes to school there and we go to church there and it was an offer that I felt I could not turn down.
“It’s hard leaving Yukon,” she added. “It’s a great place and the people here are fantastic, but my decision is based on my family and the important thing is spending time with my family.”
Shanahan has coached 20 years, starting in 1997. She was a coach at Hefner Middle School in Oklahoma City, then was an assistant at the University of Oklahoma before taking the head coaching position at St. Gregory’s in Shawnee for 12 years, where she guided the team to the NAIA World series before coming to Yukon.
“This was an offer that I could not pass up and I am looking forward to it,” she said. “I’m sure I will miss coaching, but my kids will keep me busy, especially my two year-old.”
Yukon Athletic Director Mike Clark said the resignation did come as a surprise, but has already started the search for a new coach.
“Heather has been such a blessing, so yes it was a surprise,” Clark said. “There are not too many people like her. She was a college coach, played in college and she came in here and just brought so much to our program that we are going to miss her tremendously. Not only was she a teacher and a coach, but she helped us in the athletic department with eligibility and things.
“I think she got to a point in her life where her kids are starting to grow up and they are in to a lot of things, so she wanted to step back and be a mom for awhile.
“It is something when she had her child last year that she started to re-evaluate things,” he added. “That keeps them all together now and it takes her out of coaching for now, but I see her getting back into coaching at some point. She has a lot of passion for it.”
Clark said he posted the job, but had received three applicants already, including one from a college coach.
“We will open it four or five days, it was posted on the Oklahoma Coaches Association website and we have some good candidates already here on staff,” Clark said. “We will go through everything and see if we can get somebody hired as quick as possible.
“I would like to have something done by July fourth,” he said. “That is my goal, there is a lot of things going on around here, but we already have three candidates.
“I know Katy (Hoke) will be a strong candidate, she did a really good job that year that Heather took off. We want to get the best coach we can that will fit for Yukon.
“Our softball program is one that will draw a lot of interest,” he said. “So we know we will have a good list to go through.”
By Chuck Reherman