Ellis defied convention for 23 years.
Dobson's once and only head softball coach spoke with
unbridled candor when most coaches feared reprisals from
parents, players or administration. She wore knee high tube
socks 20 years after they were fashionable and she never
settled for second best.
So when Ellis announced her retirement from softball
coaching in a press release Wednesday, the reason seemed
perfectly suited to the coach.
"Being tired of it is really not the issue," Ellis, 55,
said, "The only thing I dislike is the sun. The sun is
out there and stand in it for three to four hours every day
and you'll understand."
Ellis stood in the Dobson coach's box for 23 seasons with
five region titles (1983, '85, '86, '90, and 2000), a state
championship in '90 and five state semifinals appearances
('85, '89, '90, '93, and '95).
Since the school's third season of varsity play in 1983-84,
Ellis' Mustangs recorded just two losing seasons, including
last year's 10-20 squad.
At least one player from every Ellis-coached team has been
named all-state or all-region, and many
gone on to play Division I ball at schools such as Arizona
State, Arizona, Stanford, Florida State, Arkansas, and
"It's been a good run," Ellis said. "I love the kids and the
job and I'm sure come softball season I'll miss it, but it's
time to move on."
Ellis will still coach varsity badminton at Dobson. She will
also maintain her duties as the school's web master,
computer liaison, fitness center director and girls physical
Dobson athletic director Rick Fultz said he will begin the
search for a successor immediately.