‘Timing was right’ for resignation of top Cat
There have been only four coaches in the history of North Harrison girls basketball.
As of this week, the school is searching for coach number five.
Missy Voyles, who took over the helm in the 1997-98 season, submitted her resignation earlier this week and the North Harrison Community School Corporation Board of Trustees accepted the resignation last night (Tuesday) in a special meeting.
She’ll remain an English teacher at North Harrison Middle School.
After eight highly successful years where she ran up a record of 131-53 (.712), Voyles said the timing of her decision, ‘just felt right.’
The 34-year-old is expecting her third child in November, and there’s plenty of talent left for an incoming coach.
‘I have been thinking about it, honestly, for a couple of years,’ Voyles said yesterday. ‘It just gets harder every year to balance coaching and being there for my kids. It’s hard to leave because I love doing it, but the timing was right for me.’
The Lady Cats finished their latest campaign at 7-15, which was the worst record under Voyles. It should be noted, however, that the club had to deal with the loss of eventual Indianapolis Star Indiana All-star Tara Miller.
Miller went down with a severe knee injury in the second game of the season, and it wasn’t until January that the club turned the corner, winning four of its final six games of the regular season.
The Indiana University-bound Miller was one of two Indiana All-stars Voyles coached, with the other being Kim McMillin, who now attends Western Kentucky University, but no longer takes part in organized hoops.
While the Lady Cats graduated nine seniors from its 2005 edition, the cupboard won’t be bare for the incoming coach: waiting in the wings is an 8th grade class that finished its pre-high school career with a mark of 60-1.
‘Joe Hinton and I just spent the spring working with them. I don’t know how much they learned, but I learned a ton being around Joe every day,’ Voyles said.
‘They have a bright future. I just didn’t feel like I would be able to finish their career with them, and if I can’t finish it, I don’t think should start it.
‘I really wanted to go along for the ride with that group. They are great people off the court, and I truly enjoy spending time with them.’
Under Voyles’ guidance, North Harrison won the Class 3A Silver Creek Sectional in 1999, was a sectional finalist in 2000 and 2001 and won the Class 3A Corydon Central Sectional in 2002 (eventually losing to eventual state runner-up Gibson Southern in overtime of Jasper Regional).
The Lady Cats’ best season came in 2003, when they finished with 20-0 mark in regular-season, won the Mid-Southern Conference championship, won the Class 3A Scottsburg Sectional, won the Jasper Regional and lost in double-overtime to state-champion Beech Grove in Southport Semistate. North also had the most potent offense in the state that year at 71.2 points a game.
The mark of 25-1 stands as the best single-season record in the history of North Harrison varsity basketball, boys or girls.
Despite those conquests, Voyles said her greatest achievement did not come from championships or trophies.
‘I know most people would expect me to say the regional championship or undefeated season. I think that the lifelong relationships you form with players is the greatest accomplishment of any coach,’ Voyles said.
‘I love to read about our former players like Liz Geltmaker being successful in college; I love running into the Carr sisters and hearing about graduate school; I love to get e-mails from Abby Wells telling me about her college adventures; I love running into Lindsay Shroyer and giving her a big hug and hearing about how much she loves school, or listening to Kim McMillin’s quirky sense of humor.
‘The wins won’t matter in 10 years. Those relationships should be the greatest accomplishment of anyone that works that closely with kids.’
Voyles’ winning percentage of .712 ranks first among North’s girls coaches, followed by Larry Martin (.700), Danny Schmidt (.625) and Rita Ward (.350).