Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Friday, May 30, 2008
Eagles changing coaches for varsity girls teams
Pecos High School varsity girls’ teams will see new head coaches in four different sports for the 2008-09 season, following changes earlier this month by both the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD school board and P-B-T ISD athletic director Chris Henson.
Resignations by head softball coach Tammy Walls and head basketball and track coach Donna Gent left those three positions open, while Henson and P-B-T Superintendent Manny Espino have reassigned head volleyball coach Helen Kimbrough to the junior high level. Ruth McWilliams, currently the head volleyball and softball coach at Marfa High School, will take over as head volleyball coach, while her husband Brent will be the new varsity girls’ basketball coach for the Eagles.
Gent’s position as head track coach will be filled by former Eagles’ assistant Dee Dee Molinar, who returns to Pecos after serving as the head volleyball coach in Kermit, while the varsity softball position remains open, pending action by the school board at a future meeting.
Kimbrough came to Pecos two years ago after serving as head volleyball coach at Odessa Permian, and then as a junior high coach in the Ector County ISD. The Eagles went 27-10 in 2006, advancing to the Region I-3A quarterfinals, and 27-7 this past season, falling to Andrews in the Region I-3A area round.
Henson said the volleyball change was made not due to any problems with the Eagles’ on-court play, but due to some off-court rules problems. Espino said he knew the decision was a controversial one, “Unfortunately, I have to make decisions based on what I feel is in the best interest of the district, and this was the decision I made.”
“Right now I’m looking to put some applications in, but I do have a contract for next year even though it’s for junior high, which is something I’ve done before,” Kimbrough said on Wednesday. “It all depends on where God leads me.”
“The girls I’ve coaches the last two years who will be seniors this year should go very far in the playoffs,” she said. “I think in the two years I was here things changes for the better, and I’m glad I was part of it. I have no hard feelings, and I wish them the best.”
Kimbrough said she’s applied for varsity positions at Lubbock Estacado, and in Houston and Gladewater, along with the job opening in Kermit vacated by Molinar, after the Yellowjackets went 22-11 this past season and advanced to the area round of the Class 2A playoffs.
“The Kermit deal would be great. Their kids are like these kids here. They’ve moved up with coach Molinar and she’s done a great job with them. All I would have to do is step in and continue that job.”
McWilliams’ Marfa volleyball teams the past two seasons ended up with the exact same finishes as Pecos after winning district titles in 2006 and 2007. The Shorthorns advanced to the Region I-A semifinals in 2006, losing to Windthorst and reached the area round of the Region I-A tournament this past season before losing to Wink, in a game played at Pecos High School.
McWilliams just finished up her season as softball coach in Marfa this past Saturday, when the Shorthorns lost a best-of-three series to Eula in the Region I-A finals. Both are scheduled to be in Pecos next week, for the start of the P-B-T ISD summer track and volleyball programs.
“It’s just time,” McWilliams told the Big Bend Sentinel following Marfa’s playoff loss. “Sometimes it’s just better to let new blood in and let them take the girls forward.”
Brent McWilliams will be the Eagles’ fourth head girls basketball coach in as many seasons, after Donna Gent and her husband Pat both resigned their positions with P-B-T ISD, and will be moving to Corsicana for the 2008-09 school year.
“We know some people over there who are coaching,” Pat Gent said. “I think the move will be a good thing for us. We enjoyed our time here, but sometimes God has different plans for you.”
Donna Gent served as head basketball coach this past season, adding that to her job as head track coach, which she served as for the past three years. Pecos will go into the 2008-09 school year as defending district champions in both sports. The Eagles finished with a 13-13 record this past season and 5-1 in district, winning their first outright girls basketball title since 1970.
Pat Gent was an assistant football coach the past three seasons and head golf coach in 2006-07 for Pecos. He was also an assistant baseball and assistant girls basketball coach during his time in Pecos.
Henson said Ruth McWilliams would also serve as assistant basketball coach for her husband, while Brent McWilliams will be one of the assistant volleyball coaches, along with Molinar.
He added that for softball, Pecos is looking at former Eagle Stephanie Herrera, who just graduated this past season from New Mexico State University. Herrera is finishing up her degree in journalism from NMSU and would take that teaching position at Pecos High School, pending certification. She played from 2000 to 2004 for the Eagles and the past four seasons for the Aggies, earning second team all-WAC honors as a senior.
She played under Walls, who has served as head softball coach for the Eagles since the girls’ program began in 1998. The Eagles reached the playoffs seven times during the past 11 years, advancing their furthest during Herrera’s senior year, when Pecos lost to Monahans in the Region I-3A semifinals.
“I just decided it was time for me to move on and do something else,” said Walls, who plans to stay on in her teaching job. She added she plans to use the extra free time to go back to school and get her advanced teaching certificates.
On the boys’ side, Henson said he’s hired Jackie McNew from Quanah as an assistant high school football and track coach, and is still looking for a coach to replace Becky Wein, who resigned as assistant softball and volleyball coach. Like Walls, Wein plans to remain on as a teacher in P-B-T ISD.
“That leaves us needing three high school coaches,” Henson said. He hoped to have the positions filled within the next few weeks.
At the junior high level, Henson said Christina Arenivas has been hired as a volleyball, basketball and track coach for the girls.
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