Mark Stinson has ridden countless yellow school buses the last 18 years as the University girls basketball coach.
It’s now time for him to drive his minivan and tote his three children to games.
Stinson has resigned. He actually calls it a retirement. It’s time to chase a sixth-grade son, a fourth-grade son and daughter in kindergarten.
“I’m excited to move on to a different phase of my life,” Stinson said. “I’m sure once the season (next year) gets going I’ll miss it – the adrenaline of the games and being around really good kids that are motivated.”
Prior to moving to U-Hi, Stinson was girls head coach at Tekoa-Oakesdale and Northwest Christian. He’s been a head coach for 28 years.
“It’s been such a blessing,” Stinson said. “So many great student-athletes have come through.”
One of the best was Angie Bjorklund, who went on to play at the University of Tennessee.
Stinson finishes with a 285-175 record at U-Hi. His best state finish was second in 2006-07 when the Titans lost to Lewis and Clark 39-34 in the final.
“He’s a great guy and has coached some great players here who had a lot of success,” U-Hi athletic director Ken VanSickle said.
One of VanSickle’s favorite memories came when the Greater Spokane League was divided into two divisions and LC and U-Hi, both undefeated, were scheduled to meet in the last game.
“We moved the game to another night so we were the only game in town,” VanSickle said. “We had about 3,000 in the gym and we seat 2,500. We brought in some extra seating. We even had the fire marshal there. We were packed to the rafters.”
Making it even better was the fact that U-Hi won.
VanSickle said the job is posted for applications. U-Hi also must fill vacancies in volleyball and girls cross country.
Central Valley also must fill its volleyball coaching position.
CV will be interviewing soon to fill its athletic director position. Butch Walter is retiring at the end of the year.