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Tough decision for successful Enumclaw girls basketball coach

Beth Madill was named the 2013 South Puget Sound League coach of the year. Here she is coaching Nadine Huff in the Enumclaw win over Kennedy 59-42 Feb. 15 at Clover Park. - Photo by Dennis Box, The Courier-Herald
Beth Madill was named the 2013 South Puget Sound League coach of the year. Here she is coaching Nadine Huff in the Enumclaw win over Kennedy 59-42 Feb. 15 at Clover Park.
— image credit: Photo by Dennis Box, The Courier-Herald

It was a gut-wrenching decision, but Beth Madill knew she had to step away from something she loves.

The world of sports has to take a back seat to the love of family and Madill’s commitment to her husband and young son led to a decision -  tendered by letter Friday – to step down as coach of the Enumclaw High girls basketball team.

Her letter drips with the pain of someone who played brilliantly for the Hornets, took her game to the collegiate level and then returned to coach in the same gymnasium she had starred in not too many years before.

“I have cried many tears in the past few months when the realization hit that I cannot be fully committed to both my family and my basketball family,” Madill wrote. “I was unaware of the countless hours I put into coaching prior to the birth of our son, Jace.”

Coaches know the demanding schedule Madill refers to, while many outside the coaching fraternity are unaware of what it takes to succeed at the high school level. There’s more than after-school practices during the winter season and 20-plus games each year.

“There is practice planning, film breakdown, scouting opponents, fundraising, summer ball, youth camp, calling in scores, responding/writing emails, meetings, team camp, and so much more,” Madill wrote.

With the demands of being a young mother, Madill first resigned her teaching position at Enumclaw Middle School. Still, there are not enough hours in the day to be a full-time mother, wife and coach. So Madill is stepping aside – but, if her dream comes true, it won’t be too big a step.

“I truly care and love each of the players I have been blessed to work with,” Madill wrote. “The thought of not being a part of their basketball lives has broken my heart, but I know my relationship with these amazing girls goes beyond the hardwood. I truly believe I will be a part of their lives, but it will be in a different way than their head coach.”

She hopes to land a job as a volunteer varsity assistant coach at EHS, while realizing that decision will be left in the hands of the coach who next guides the Hornet program.

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