A new era in the Hoxie girls’ basketball program will begin this winter.
Longtime head coach Shelly Hoyt accepted an offer to become the head coach of the Class 2A Madison/Hamilton girls’ basketball program, Hoyt told The Hays Daily News on Wednesday.
The move comes on the heels of her husband, Scott, accepting a superintendent position in Eureka. Hoyt said she accepted a position with the Madison school district as a special education teacher and was ready to step away from basketball until receiving a call last week.
“I had interviewed at some places at some places in Wichita — Andover, Circle, some bigger schools — and had just thought I was going to have to withdraw from basketball for a while,” Hoyt said. “I didn’t necessarily think it was gonna be a period at the end of my career, but I thought it was gonna be a ‘dot dot dot’ so to speak. I was OK with that, talked to my family about it, was ready to just withdraw for a little bit. I was just happy with that time off and ready to go into just my teaching job and focus on my family and then got a call last week and didn’t really think I would accept it. God had other plans, so I followed that and accepted the job.”
Hoyt served as head coach in Hoxie for 16 years and led the Indians to four consecutive Class 1A Division I state championships from 2012-15. The Indians were undefeated in their final three championships seasons and won 107 consecutive games, a state record that ended in January against Hill City.
Hoxie finished the season by losing the final two games of state and ending at 23-3.
Even when she learned Scott would be moving to Eureka, Hoyt was unsure she wanted to end her reign in Hoxie.
“We had considered me staying. I just wasn’t gonna do that to him. He (Scott) was like, ‘You do what you want. You built that there.’ It’s just like I told Andover and these other places that I was offered, I think Hoxie … it would be hard to leave,” Hoyt said. “Once I talked to my family and just got down there, I just thought there was no way, it’s time to leave. It’s definitely time to leave.”
Hoyt coached her three daughters — Jacie, Corinna and Terran — while at Hoxie with Terran being the last to graduate earlier this spring. With her set to make the transition to Nebraska-Kearney to play basketball, there was hesitation about jumping back into coaching to make sure she could follow Terran’s career.
“I talked to all my girls about it. At the time, I said, ‘I’m not supposed to be coaching. I’m good with that. I can go watch Terran when I want.’ Jacie’s less than two hours away and Corinna and her fiance are moving to El Dorado, which is 30 miles from our house (in Eureka). We were OK with that,” Hoyt said.
“When this came up, the girls all said, ‘You need to do this.’ Terran was the most adamant about it.”
Hoyt will take over a program that finished 14-8 last season, losing in the sub-state semifinals, and has never won a state championship. As she learned when taking over a program in Hoxie that won state just once prior to her arrival, Hoyt knows how to win.
“Right now, I’m excited about it. I’m ready to meet my kids and players. … I’m gonna go at it 110 percent,” Hoyt said.
“I just love the positivity at Madison and the attitude. As a family, we’re ready for a fresh, new start.”