Coach won more than 100 games in seven seasons with Buffs

Shawna McConnell resigned from the Madras High School head softball coaching position at the 509-J Board of Directors meeting on Oct. 14.

McConnell said that she wants to focus on her educational goals, which includes completing her Master’s degree in coaching and athletic administration, as the reason for stepping down.

She is currently a physical education teacher in the district.

“For me to do what I want to with my career, I need to do this,” she said. “It’s important enough to me that I didn’t want anything to suffer, and it wouldn’t be fair to the girls if my coaching suffered because I’m focused on completing my degree.”

McConnell said she needs to complete her degree in order to renew her teaching license, and just felt she needed to give herself all the time available to get it done so she can continue to teach.

Once she completes her degree she would like to get back into coaching, but understands the job just won’t be presented to her.

“If the girls get a great new coach, then I’ll be happy for them,” McConnell said. “But I would absolutely like to get back to coaching once I’m done. This is just a little break for me.”

Madras High School Athletic Director Rory Oster said the school will open the job and see how much interest there is, but said there’s a possibility they may have to hire an internal candidate on an interim basis.

“We like to hire coaches in the spring of the previous year, so right now isn’t a real opportune time to be looking for a spring coach,” Oster said. “But we will see what we can get from opening the position now.”

During her head coaching tenure with the White Buffalos, which began in 2007, McConnell compiled a 105-78 overall record in both Class 5A and 4A.

During four years of being in the Class 5A Intermountain Conference, the Buffs were 49-51 under McConnell, and qualified for the playoffs in 2010 with an 11-10 IMC record.

Once the Buffs dropped into the Class 4A Tri-Valley Conference, the wins started to pile up in a hurry.

In three seasons in the TVC, the Buffs were 56-27 with McConnell at the helm and made back-to-back 4A quarterfinals appearances.

The Buffs claimed the TVC title outright in 2011 with a 14-1 record (22-6 overall), and shared the league crown in 2012 with Gladstone with a 12-3 league mark. Madras finished 19-9 overall that season, and lost to Cascade in the quarters 5-0.

In 2011, Madras lost to Central in the state quarterfinals 1-0.

Last season, the Buffs finished 15-12 overall and 7-8 in the TVC, and lost in the play-in round to North Marion.

“I love the girls I’ve coached,” McConnell said. “They are great players and great people, and it has been really rewarding to work with all of them.”

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