Former North Shore assistant sees vast potential
It was time for Cirby Vest to take over a softball program.
So, when she saw her opportunity, Vest jumped on the chance to interview for the head coaching position at Goose Creek Memorial following the sudden departure of Marissa Koetting.
Now, pending Goose Creek CISD board approval on Monday, she will be the newest leader of the Lady Patriots program.
Vest’s first job comes after Koetting, who left for the top post at Frank Phillips College in Borger, Texas, led GCM to a 9-19-2 record in her only year at the helm.
“I really do think there is talent here and I don’t know what’s happened in the past,” Vest said. “I have to learn who they are and looking at records – which are not always indicative of the talent of a team – we played them at La Porte – and they definitely have something to work with. That makes it exciting since there is something there.
“I just have to figure out what to do with these girls. I just have to figure out what will make our girls be successful.”
She was the varsity assistant at North Shore in 2019 and before that she worked at La Porte for eight years in the same position while also doing the same with basketball and volleyball.
Now that she is leading a program, Vest can focus all of her attention on one sport.
“It’s kind of surreal really, but super exciting that I can do things the way I would like to do them,” Vest said. “I get to say things and run a program the way I would do. Trying to be the face of the program, the girls will have to really believe in what I am doing for them to invest in what I am trying to do there. I am just trying to get to know the girls and build a relationship with them.
“That’s when we can do the softball stuff. When they have that relationship, they will not want to forsake the program or do anything to tarnish what we’ve built.”
Vest played at La Porte High School and then moved on to Galveston College and the University of Houston-Victoria to round out her own playing days.
She wants to implement academic advisement, which she had as a player herself.
“I want them to be excelling not only in softball,” Vest said. “You never know what kind of issues kids have academically, so I want to be able to know that about my players. I want them to have a place that they are proud of and I want us to take up the concept of family. No one messes with family.”
“If we can do that and invest in each other and what we are doing it will be a good place to play softball.”
One of the first items she will address is improving the pitching which has held back GCM over the past couple of playoff-less years.
“My assistant (Rachel Smith) was a D1 pitcher,” Vest said. “I remember when I was at La Porte, we played her when she was at Sterling. It’s going to be really huge, especially if we can get her in the offseason as long as she doesn’t have any other contractual responsibilities. You can’t just put someone out there, so with her expertise and experience, we are going to be improve.”
She will work in special education having been a teacher working with dyslexic kids in the past.