North Texas Daily

Mean Green softball volunteer coach climbs coaching ladder

Mean Green softball volunteer coach climbs coaching ladder

Mean Green softball volunteer coach climbs coaching ladder
April 10
00:11 2014

Ehsan Azad // Staff Writer

Cleaning up Lovelace field after softball practice, putting away the team’s equipment and studying for graduate school makes up a regular day for Mean Green assistant softball coach Addison Staley.

She’s in her first year coaching and is just a year removed from playing as an outfielder at Texas Women’s University. She decided to take up coaching as a career after graduating and now is pursuing her master’s degree in kinesiology at North Texas to go for her graduate degree in kinesiology.

She talked to last year’s softball head coach T.J. Hubbard about joining the staff, but since then he has left and was replaced by Tracey Kee.

Staley has no official role with UNT or the athletic department and is a volunteer coach, meaning she does not get paid for her contributions. Her schedule is already busy working for the city of Grapevine and working as a nanny, in addition to her duties at practices and assisting on game days.

“I am the person that is in between the coaching staff and the players,” Staley said. “Whatever they need me to do, I will do it.”

Staley showed up to Kee’s office when she first came to Denton and simply asked if she could hang around the team. She hit it off with Kee when they first met because Kee started coaching at a young age as well, which helped her open the door to volunteer coach for Staley.

Kee said Staley has already shown some insight for the game that she doesn’t usually see in people her age.

“She has the uncanny ability to look at the game within the game,” Kee said. “She doesn’t say much, but when she does, it is an ‘ah-ha’ moment.”

Kee said she often sees Staley’s coaching development when she shares the same message to the players that Kee would say herself. Kee said that Staley’s youth is also an advantage to have on the coaching staff.

“She still has so much competitive juice left and that really rubs off on me,” Kee said. “The players really connect with her and that helps us out a lot.”

Staley said one of the advantages of being a coach who just recently played is connecting with her team and meeting eye to eye with them on struggles they’re facing. She’s close in age with the team and the same age as senior shortstop Brooke Foster.

“Knowing what is going on and how the game is played these days really helps a lot,” Staley said.

The players love that they have someone so close in age to them that helps mediate problems the team has on and off the field. Senior outfielder Jackie Miller said she loves having her as a coach because she raises the team’s spirits with her energy and some of her antics in the dugout.

“She is in the dugout during offense and has all theses dances,” Miller said. “She is a coach and you respect her but you can go out and have fun with her on the field.”

Staley aspires to move up the coaching ladder to head coach. Mean Green volleyball assistant coach Madison Barr started at a similar position and was recently promoted to a full-time paid assistant position after serving this past season as a volunteer.

For most of the season Barr served as the director of operations and compiled statistics, watched team film and made travel arrangements for the most part. When a hole in the coaching staff opened, Barr was the choice to fill it.

“The first thought I had was ‘whew, I am off my dad’s benefits,’” Barr said. “I was just excited to join this program and it is exciting to work at my alma mater.”

While she didn’t do as much coaching on the court, being around the seasoned coaches made Barr think about the game differently.

“It allowed me to ease into some confidence and hear that some of the things they were saying were what I was thinking,” Barr said, “Breaking down film helped me see the game in a way you don’t see as a player.”

Barr said her advice to those wanting to get into coaching is to get in the door anyway possible and be willing to take on any task given.

“I was fortunate that this staff gave me the opportunity to jump on board on what they are doing,” Barr said.

Staley has another year left of graduate school, so for now she plans to continue to come out and volunteer again for the softball team as she continues down her coaching career path.

“Seeing how much work there is behind-the-scenes, it has really opened my eyes,” Staley said. “I think working with this coaching staff has really prepared me.”

Volunteer Assistant Coach Addison Staley, left, talks with Head Coach Tracey Kee after losing the second game of a doubleheader against Louisiana Tech University on Saturday at Lovelace Stadium. This is Staley’s first season on the coaching staff for the Mean Green. Photo by Edward Balusek, Staff Photographer.

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