The Wayne Stater

WSC appreciates solo head softball coach Shelly Manson

Austin Gubbels, Payton Parks, and Morgan Parsley

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Shelly Manson is the only head women’s coach at WSC. She was born and raised in a town about half the size of Wayne in Ohio. Manson had a huge family and they owned a construction company. When she was young she played a lot of sports and barrel raced horses because there was nothing else to do in a small town. Manson also said that she did not like school while she was growing up and still didn’t like it when she was in college.

Manson always wanted to be outdoors being active and playing sports. She didn’t plan on attending college, but planned on staying home and working for the family business. Her parents had other thoughts and made her continue her education. Manson attended Muskingum College, a Division 3 college in Southeast Ohio. While she was there she played softball instead of basketball because she said she “hated running,” and “after the basketball coach showed her their conditioning,” she was set on softball. Manson even won a national championship and earned a degree in history while she was at Muskingum.

Manson moved back home and started working construction with her family and had planned on enlisting in the army, but before that happened, she was asked to coach her high school’s JV softball team. Manson wanted to continue in the coaching field, so she went back to graduate school at Defiance and got her master’s degree. She then went on and was the hitting coach for Division 1 Louisiana Tech. Manson continued coaching at Westminster in Missouri. In 2014, she was named the head coach for WSC women’s softball. Manson said that she feels very accepted here being the only head female coach on campus. She notices the “glass ceiling” issues across the country.

“Women aren’t offered many head coaching positions,” Manson said. “Things are getting better, but we have a ways to go.”

Manson’s role models throughout her life were Pat Summit and Michael Jordan. She said her biggest motivator to becoming a good coach was her old college coach. Manson said she was a very old-school style coach and treated the players very poorly. Manson vowed to never humiliate athletes as she did. She says being blunt and honest with the players is the best way to communicate with them so they always know what to expect. So, with this philosophy and making strides towards equality, Wayne State College appreciates Shelly Manson for the person and coach that she is.

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WSC appreciates solo head softball coach Shelly Manson