The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

High School Sports

March 23, 2013

Former Crowder coach Brandi Arthur to lead Neosho softball

Brandi Arthur, former softball coach at Crowder College, is resuming her coaching career.

Arthur has replaced Melissa Clark at Neosho High School. Clark recently stepped down after three years as head coach and five overall with the Wildcats.

Arthur, formerly Park, teaches health and physical education at Neosho High School.

“I’m looking forward to it and I’m excited,” Arthur said Friday of taking the position. “It’s kind of like Crowder. We need to build something and it might take some time. Hopefully, players will buy into my philosophy.”

Arthur recently has kept her hand in coaching, she said, as this upcoming summer will be her fifth in a row guiding the traveling MC (McDonald County) Outlaws. Their age division this summer will be 18-under.

Arthur, who prepped at Checotah (Okla.), was a shortstop at Crowder for Millie Gilion. Arthur then attended Union University of Jackson (Tenn.) before returning to Crowder as its coach in 2005.

Crowder had dropped softball after the 2000 season and the 13th under current athletic director Gilion.

“I was at Crowder for four years,” Arthur said. “That first year was spent recruiting and building a field.”

Arthur finished 124-50 in the three years as coach with two regional titles.

Brandi said she followed sister Lori, a center fielder, to Crowder.

“Alyssa (a catcher), our youngest sister, probably would have gone to Crowder but softball wasn’t available,” Brandi said. “Alyssa wound up at Murray State (Tishomingo) and also played a year at Missouri Southern.”

Brandi’s husband, Tony, who prepped at Rolla, is a member of the Crowder Baseball Hall of Fame. The left-hander pitched three seasons in the Angels’ organization. They have two sons — Brodie, 6, and Dane, 3.

Tony is pitching coach for Nick Martin at McDonald County High School and they own a sporting goods store in Jane (Mo.).

Clark, who teaches social studies at Neosho High School, is a graduate of Riverton High School and attended Allen County Community College of Iola for one year before finishing at Missouri Southern.

Clark assisted Grant Young and Gilion each a year with the Wildcats before taking the reins.

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