Women's History Month feature
The DISD will be sharing some Q&A interviews with female head coaches at John W. Bate Middle School and Danville High School during Women's History Month. Here, we're spotlighting Lisa Morse.
Lisa Morse, head softball coach at John W. Bate Middle School, has an extensive athletic background and was in high school when Title IX went into effect. The Danville Independent School District asked her some questions about how her team has been preparing for the start of a new season, what she wants to teach her players, and more.
Tell me a bit about your past experience as a coach, and as an athlete.
As an athlete, I was a sophomore in high school in Ohio when Title IX went into effect. I played basketball, track and field, and softball. I was blessed to be born into a sports family as my father, Phil Morse, was a college coach and physical fitness fanatic. I played in the first-ever Ohio State Basketball Tournament for girls and was Female Athlete of the Year my senior year. I went on to play field hockey, basketball and fastpitch softball at a D3 college in Ohio.
I began coaching while still in high school with the Junior Olympics Track program. From there I moved to Iowa and coached middle school basketball, fastpitch, and high school/middle school track.
Once I moved to Danville, I worked as a teacher and coached basketball, volleyball, and track over a 30-year period. In the ‘90s, my girls basketball team won multiple Deaf tournaments and were Deaf National Champions.
I was a volunteer fastpitch coach at Boyle County Middle School while my youngest daughter was playing there, and I also gave private fastpitch lessons at the Morse Baseball/Softball Academy.
As your team has been preparing for a new season, can you tell me about the work they've put in?
A nucleus of our team has been doing conditioning since January! I am very proud of the work and dedication they are showing. We are definitely in a building year, but these young ladies are rising to the occasion and getting better every day.
What about your team makes you most proud?
They are not quitters! I have thrown a lot of new skills and knowledge about the game at them, and they keep coming back for more.
What qualities or values do you hope to instill in your players?
Let's be honest. We know very few of these players will go on to play at the college level and beyond. We are not here to just make softball players. While we are striving to be the best we can be in this sport, my main goal is to use softball as a means to teach these young ladies that hard work pays off, dedication to a team is not unlike working with others at a job in their future, and to build self confidence that transfers to other areas of their lives.
In your opinion, what is the importance of representation for women in athletic leadership positions?
It is very important. I didn't have any female leaders until I got to the college level. It was wonderful to have coaches who knew I was capable of more athletically. I know lots of young ladies who didn't know they could become a leader in the sports world until they saw other women doing it.
- Danville Independent Schools
- womens history month