Just this past season the Centralia varsity softball team was ranked eighth in the state and 35th in the nation in Class 2 according to maxpreps.com and that was considered an off year for head coach Jill Angell and staff.
Now, after accomplishing more than several coaches could in twice the time, the Lady Panthers long time leader is retiring to enjoy a quiter existence away from the competitive life with the people she values the most.
"I turned in my resignation the beginning of November," said Angell. "I would like to spend more time with my family, incluing three grandchildren, and I thought it was time that someone new and younger took over."
Even though Angell's entire time at Centralia has been a series of championships followed by intense summer training, it's not as though this teams winning ways have ever dipped. For example, in 2015 the Lady Panthers had a record of 23-3 overall and lost to eventual runner-up Fatima according to mshsaa.org.
"I started as the head coach at CHS in 1999. I was an assistant coach at CHS in 1991," Angell said. "I was the head coach at Centralia Middle School from 1994-1998. I really don't know my career record. I have been a part of four State Championships, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2016."
Currently Angell teaches Health and Physical Education at Centralia High School. As for the future, not only does she hope to continue those endeavors, but she also has a plan to continue coaching in a way that will still allow her to meet all of hher other goals.
"I will still be teaching and hope to coach younger kids. The only coaching I did before coming to Centralia was the summer program in Meadville, Missouri where I grew up," said Angell. "I coached (sixth to eighth grade) teams (boys baseball and girls softball) from 1980-1982 in the summers while I was in college."
As for the motivation to spend less time on the diamond, that includes husband Jed, who she's about to celebrate her 35th anniversary with. She's also looking to spend more time with her children, including one that she's looking forward to visiting in Austin, Mo., as well as grandchildren Micah, who is two years old, and six months old Ainsley and Dekker.
"All I ever wanted to do was coach and teach. I had a Physical Education teacher and coach, Carol Gross, who had a huge impact on my life," Angell said. "When I was in fifth grade, I told my parents (who are not educators) that I wanted to teach and coach, and I've never changed my mind. I stayed for 19 years because I loved it. I have had the incredible opportunity to work with great parents, great assistants, and awesome kids. I've been very blessed to do what I loved for such a long time."