Troup gets new softball coach
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
Ryan Simpson excelled as a softball player, and now she’ll look to find success as a coach.
Simpson, who was a star player at Point University from 2016 to 2019, is the new head softball coach at Troup High, and she will lead the team onto the field when the season begins in August.
Simpson replaces Kayla Yeargin, who led the Troup program the past two seasons.
“I’ve always wanted to coach,” said Simpson, who graduated from Valley High before attending Point University. “Teaching was always a top priority, and history has always been such an interesting topic for me. At some point I wanted to coach, and me getting offered the head coaching position and I haven’t even been out of college for two years, it’s crazy. I am so excited.”
Simpson isn’t a stranger to Troup High.
While attending Point, Simpson gained experienced as a student teacher at Troup, and she got to know principal Niki Watts.
“I’m excited,” said Simpson, who was a teacher at Gardner Newman Middle School during the 2019-2020 school year. “I did my student teaching at Troup. Ever since I did my student teaching, it’s somewhere that I was interested in, and I’m just glad that (Watts) called.”
Simpson was a four-year starter at Point, and she was a lock-down pitcher during each of her seasons on the team.
As a freshman in 2016, Simpson had a 13-15 record with a stellar 2.96 earned run average.
During her sophomore season in 2017, Simpson was 15-11 with a 2.03 ERA, and she had 14 complete games.
Simpson was even better as a junior, finishing with an 18-11 record with a 1.38 ERA in 2018, and she was the co-pitcher of the year in the conference.
Simpson capped her collegiate career with another superb season, going 15-11 with a 2.10 ERA in 2019.
“I had so much fun (at Point),” Simpson said. “The girls are awesome, the school is awesome. Coach (Sarah) Warren and coach (Jennifer) Tyler, they were there for you when you needed them to be. They knew what they were doing, they knew how to coach us. Overall, it was fantastic.”
Simpson appreciates the support she has received from all of her coaches in high school and college.
“Between the two of them (at Point) and even my coach from Valley, they’re awesome,” Simpson said. “I couldn’t have chosen better coaches for me. Even now, coach Warren has offered to help me in any way she could. I have a huge support system with them even now.”
While Simpson hasn’t been a head coach before, she believe she’s prepared for the challenge.
“I’m ready,” she said. “I’ve done camps at Point, I’ve given lessons to girls. I’ve helped in recreation departments before. Being able to have a team of my own and get to give my knowledge to girls at this level, I feel like it’s going to be a great experience.”