By Chuck Reherman
After a lengthy search, Yukon High School Athletic Director Mike Clark has found the right person to take over the Millerette soccer program.
Danielle Cushing was named as the new Millerette head soccer coach Monday night at the Yukon School Board meeting.
Cushing comes to Yukon from Mountain Vista High School in Colorado, where she coached both boys and girls teams.
She found her way to Yukon after her fiance was transferred to the Oklahoma City area for his job. Cushing landed a job with Yukon first as a teacher and then accepted the head coaching position.
“I was looking at the school districts around here and comparing them and seeing which ones where a good fit for me and interesting to me,” Cushing said. “I had heard a couple things about it, they have a great track record and it one of the best places to work and then the head coaching job came open. I was hired as a teacher first and then got the head coaching job. It worked out good for me and I feel it was all meant to be. I feel very lucky and excitement for the opportunity.
“One of my goals when I became a teacher was to become the head coach of a program,” she said. ‘It is incredible and I am ready to take it on. It was not a surprise to me to be a head coach this so much coaching experience and that one day it would come.”
Cushing did play one season of Division I college soccer (she had to step away from playing the sport due to too many concussions). She transferred to Oklahoma State where she earned both her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degree in elementary and special education. She was also a graduate assistant at OSU.
She returned to her high school alma mater where she coached the girls junior varsity team and the boys third level freshman team.
Cushing takes over for Steve Scott, who guided the Millerettes to playoff appearances in all but one of his seasons as head coach.
She also inherits a talented team that will feature several returning starters.
“I am really excited to meet all the players and get to know them,” she said. “Hopefully we will get to set something up soon.
“At Oklahoma State I knew some people that actually played for the program,” she added, “I have heard nothing but good things about it.
“With not having to get right into a season right away, I will have the fall to get to know them and are not thrown into the season right away. So, we will be able to develop in a different way, get to know them and be ready to go in the spring.
“In Colorado, they played boys in the fall and girls in the spring. It was different, I got to coach all year which was incredible, but now I get to focus on one team all year. You can be with them and give all your energy and time to that one team. I am excited about that.”
Cushing is looking to bring a new perspective to the program and had her coaching style in.
“I don’t think I will bring a new style to the team, but more of a new dynamic to the team,” Cushing said. “Just because I will be a female coach, am younger and newer and I think I can relate to players and make them feel they can come to me for anything.
“I want to build a community atmosphere for the team and want the girls to learn something new not only on the field, but off the field and I want them to know that they can show up and have fun. They should want to be there, have fun and love the game.”
Her first step will be assembling a new staff.
With Cushing already on the teaching staff and with her enthusiasm and endorsements from her previous athletic director, Clark’s decision came as an easier one.
“We looked at all the candidates and when you have a position like that, remember they are teachers first and have to fit into the teacher’s scheme of things,” Clark said. “She has played at this level, played at a higher level and has been very successful. So things that came across to us is her ability to relate to 17 and 18-year-old young ladies and based on our research and visiting with her, we feel she is going to get a lot out of our young ladies.
“We are excited about what the future holds,” he said. “I have been here three years and they (the Millerette soccer team) has always been talented. It’s tough with soccer because some of them are playing club and they play club while they are playing high school. You have to have someone who is able to manage that. We were blessed with having Steve Scott, but Danielle has also done that, she has played with a club team and high school and knows the importance of both of them.
“We were told by the (Mountain View) AD hat when there coach leaves, they will be looking to get her back. So we hope they come to Yukon love it here as much as we do. We are excited about having her.”
By Chuck Reherman