Rick Scott isn’t ready to say goodbye to Piedmont softball.
“I went in and told (the administration) to pull my resignation letter and that I’d like to coach again,” Scott said.
Scott said more anything that words of encouragement from players and parents swayed him to return after a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to Carl Albert in the state tournament last week
“An overwhelming number of parents and players wanted me to come back,” Scott said. “That was touching to me.”
Although he led Piedmont to its 10th regional title in 14 years this season, Scott season’s was anything but easy. Squabbles over playing and a two-game suspension from an incident with fans at a game at El Reno wore on Scott, but also inspired him to return.
“My integrity, character and coaching ability were questioned this year and I’m not going to run from that,” he said. “I make plenty of mistakes, but I try to do the right thing and certainly never do anything to put into question my integrity or character.”
On paper, next year’s team will be in rebuilding mode. Scott’s daughter, Kassidy, is off to play in college at Texas Tech, as is starting catcher Cassadie Ray, who will sign with Northern Oklahoma College this spring. First baseman Tatum Honer and third baseman Jourdan Edwards will also graduate.
But Scott says he’s up to the challenge.
“Will we go to state, I don’t know,” Scott said. “But here’s the thing. Our players expect to be in the state tournament every year. That’s what they’ve gotten used to.”
Piedmont returns five starters and welcomes a talented freshman class next season to help offset the loss of a talented senior class. Developing pitching Scott said, will be key to what Piedmont can accomplish.
“We won’t have a Kassidy in the circle to start the season, but hopefully one will develop,” he said. “And we will be experienced everywhere but the circle. We have the potential to be good there if our pitchers work hard to get better in the offseason.”
Maybe most importantly for the Lady Wildcats, they’ll have their coach back for another season.
“I still want to coach these girls. I’m not ready to give it up,” Scott said. “I’m not just in it for my kids, I’m in it for the entire Piedmont program.”