About two months removed from being promoted to become Carthage High School’s next head softball coach, Stephanie Ray has finalized her coaching staff.
The fifth-year Carthage coach confirmed to the Globe on Monday the addition of assistant coach Sadie Musick as well as the promotion of Quincy Atwood.
“We’re excited to have both of these coaches on our staff next season,” Ray said. “The experience and backgrounds they have in the sport will be greatly beneficial to the team as we continue to try to develop the program at Carthage.”
Atwood, a former player for Carthage, spent last season as the Tigers’ pitching coach and has been asked to take on a “larger role” with the team in the upcoming season.
At the college level, Atwood competed at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, where she was named an All-American and played for a national championship before she wrapped up her playing career at Texas State University under Cat Osterman, a three-time NCAA Player of the Year and two-time Olympic medalist.
“I’ve had the privilege of playing for some great coaches throughout my career, and I think that’s what has kind of motivated me to become a coach myself,” Atwood said. “I’ve given pitching lessons since high school, and I’ve continued to do that throughout my career and past my playing career.”
Atwood said she and her husband also coach a 14-and-under softball team called the Midwest Athletics.
“I want to give back to the Carthage community and the sport,” she said. “The sport has taught me so much about not just softball but so many life skills and things that you’re going to use beyond softball. So it’s a special feeling to give back to my hometown and return to the program I once played for.”
Musick, a native of Wichita, Kansas, played college ball at Division I Elon University in North Carolina before competing at Butler Community College as a sophomore. She then finished out her college career at Drury University, where she met and played with Ray.
“Stephanie and I met in our first year together at Drury in 2007,” Musick said. “We were thick as thieves in college and haven’t really separated since. ... It’s always just kind of been a cool idea to coach with my best friend.”
Musick was a teacher and head softball coach at Wheaton from 2010 to 2012 before she stepped down from her coaching role to start a family.
“I now have four kids, and they’re all old enough to go to school or day care,” she said. “So Stephanie recently came to me and said, ‘Hey, I think this position is going to come open, and I would love it with you would coach with me.’ I figure my kids are at the age where I can do it. So when she brought that to my attention, I said, ‘Absolutely.’”
The Tigers graduated six seniors from the 2019 squad but will return several key performers. The program’s junior varsity team went 15-1-1 last year as well.