By EARL WATT
• Leader & Times
Pat Knott resigned this summer as head coach of the Liberal Lady Redskin softball program, and Hope Cos has been hired to take the helm.
Knott inherited a struggling Lady Redskins softball program five years ago, and after three wins his first season, Knott’s teams improved to six wins his second season and nine wins in 2012.
The team suffered key injuries in 2013 and slipped to seven wins, and this year’s young group did not win a game.
“I felt it was time to step back,” Knott said. “This was a difficult decision to make because of how much I enjoy coaching and the interaction of the players.”
Knott has been a favorite with his athletes, and he has experienced a great deal of success at the middle school level.
It is not uncommon to see one of his former middle school players approach him in The Big House or at the field for a hug and perhaps some advice.
But those relationships never translated into the same success in softball even though the program seemed to be making improvements until last season.
“The opportunity to watch the success that we had doesn’t make one bad season ruin that,” Knott said. “I want to thank the assistants that helped including Christy Starr, and the list of players that put a stamp on the program.
Knott will continue to coach volleyball at West.
“I feel like I have some coaching left in me,” he said.
Cox has coached softball for the past two seasons at Tyrone, Okla., and was an assistant for a year at Ripley, Okla.
“We’re very excited to have Coach Cox on staff,” Liberal Athletic Director Rolans VanWyhe said in a release. “She brings excitement, enthusiasm and commitment to our athletic department and softball program. Coach Cox has a tough task ahead of her; however, her determination and persistence assures us that our softball program will improve.”
Cox will teach PE at LHS while assuming the head coaching responsibilities.