Who knew that Kristin Mallory’s 100th win as head coach of the Lawrence High girls basketball program would be one of her last?
Mallory, who picked up the milestone victory on Feb. 6 with a 57-40 win against Olathe East, announced her resignation earlier this week, hanging up her whistle and clipboard after eight years in charge of the Lions.
“Many things have factored into my decision,” Mallory said. “But I feel that, at this time, it is best for myself, my family, and the program for me to move forward.”
Mallory, who is expecting her third child in late May, said the desire to spend more time with her own family weighed heavily into her decision to walk away. However, she said that just because she’s stepping aside does not make her feel any less a part of the LHS family.
“I have spent the last eight years at my dream job,” she said, “coaching kids that I love in an environment that is beyond description. Each time I hear the school song or watch our fans sing the alma mater, I know that there is no other place like LHS in the world.”
The LHS coach’s resignation came just two days after her squad lost in the sub-state championship game to Shawnee Mission West. But the decision to step down had been floating in her head for quite some time.
“Any time you leave, you’re going to leave kids,” she said. “That junior class is a real special class and we’ve been through a lot together. To not finish out for them is difficult but, at the same time, staying is not the correct decision for them or for me.”
Another big factor — and the main reason she moved so quickly — was that she wanted to give LHS plenty of time to find her replacement.
According to associate principal, Matt Brungardt, the timing of Mallory’s announcement already has made the process of replacing her a lot easier. Brungardt said Wednesday that the appropriate paperwork had been filed but that no time table had been put on finding a new coach.
The district requires the position to be open for a minimum of two weeks.
“We want to have somebody in place in time to get the summer programs up and running,” Brungardt said. “With the new KSHSAA rules, that’s even more important now than before.”