KINGMAN - Between Dave Vance's 11 seasons as head basketball coach for Kingman High and eight years in the softball program, KHS athletic director Tim Casson announced Friday Vance has been named varsity coach for KHS softball. The position became available when Salina Fogg stepped down earlier this month after six years.
"He's got a lot of experience," Casson said. "Not just from coaching softball, but altogether."
Vance has been the junior varsity coach for softball the past six years and prior to that was the assistant varsity coach for the previous two seasons.
"Since I've gotten into softball, I've really enjoyed it," Vance said. "What impresses me is how hard the girls work. They hinge on every word you say and want to get better."
The point of Fogg's resignation was to allow someone else a shot at leading the program and get it moving in the right direction. Fogg believes Vance can do that.
"I couldn't ask for a better replacement," Fogg said. "When I first considered resigning, he was one of the first people I spoke with. I truly believe he has a vision for the future direction of the program."
The basketball season does bleed into the softball season, but Vance has tackled that problem the past eight years and doesn't see it as a hindrance.
"I've had it before," Vance said. "You just do two-a-days; one in the morning and one in the afternoon."
The Bulldogs' "new" coach has already started working on his new program. There's already a 16-and-under summer traveling softball team in place - the Kingman Sidewinders - and Vance, along with his wife Karin, are putting together a 14-and-under Sidewinders squad.
"We're also trying to get an under-10 and under-eight started so we can compete with (Lake) Havasu and (Bullhead City) Mohave that have these types of programs," Vance said.
"The 14-and-under will include incoming freshman and carryover into high school."
Vance said he expects the Bulldogs to work hard with the attitude that softball isn't just a recreational sport. He said if they don't work hard, they're not going to play.
"We've got the talent and it has to be nurtured," Vance said. "We'll be well prepared, they'll know where to throw the ball and be fundamentally sound."
Vance is concerned about his inexperience with pitching and is looking for anyone to fill in the gap for him. "I can mimic pitching, but I can't break it down like I can with hitting and fielding," Vance said. "That's why I have to call out and ask for help from a pitching coach."
Vance's JV team went 12-6 last season with an 0-2 record against Havasu and a 2-0 mark versus Mohave. Vance considers these two schools an excellent measuring stick for the Bulldogs, and he can't wait to get things rolling. "I'm excited about it," Vance said. "It's something I've wanted to do for a few years now. I really do enjoy coaching the girls. They've always worked hard and are decent and competitive."