The Student News Site of Olathe West High School

Owl Post

The Student News Site of Olathe West High School

Owl Post

The Student News Site of Olathe West High School

Owl Post

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May 20, 2024

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New Varsity Head Coach For Girls Basketball

Photo provided by Coach Hodge
The girls basketball team poses for a group photo in the team room.

The team room filled with cheers and excitement from the girls basketball team as the announcement of Jami Hodge as the new girls basketball head coach. 

This year was varsity head coach Rick Rhoades’ last year of coaching. He has been the head coach for girls basketball at Olathe West for five years, but has decided to retire. 

Assistant coach Jami Hodge has been promoted to move up and fill the role. Before working at Olathe West, Hodge was a head coach at a different school. She has always wanted to be a head coach for girls basketball at Olathe West. 

“I’ve wanted to be a head coach again since I came to Olathe West,” Hodge said. “I came from a school where I was a head coach and that was always the end goal was how can I get back in that position and that role.”

Hodge has been an assistant coach for three years now. She created many close bonds with the girls and has put the work in to be a coach. 

“I worked really hard as an assistant coach,” Hodge said. “And I feel like Coach Rhoades and I did a really good job working well together. Luckily he decided that he wanted to retire and step down from being the head coach, so I thought this my opportunity to rise to the occasion and take that chance and believe in myself that I can do it.”

They had multiple different candidates for hiring someone into this role for next year’s coach.

 “I went through the whole interview process and really fought for this position and thankfully and super blessed that they made me as head coach.” Hodge said.

Right when joining the Olathe West athletic program, Hodge felt accepted by her peers and the girls that she coached.

“Since the day I stepped on to campus and met with the girls, it was three years ago so it’s been awhile, I knew this place was special,” Hodge said. “I knew the basketball program was special and I was thankful to just be part of it.” 

As she was accepted by everyone in the program, she knew she had a place she belonged and a place she could make changes for the good. 

“Immediately the girls welcomed me with open arms, and made me feel super welcomed to the program and that helped me go into the following year,” Hodge said. “So I just continued to progress and believed in what we were trying to do here and build a good culture a positive culture and I hope to continue that and continue to elevate our program and make it better each and every day, but I know from the moment I got here that this is where I wanted to end up and be here coaching for a really long time.”

As a new coach, changes are happening to help the team succeed in their upcoming season. Hodge has a lot planned for getting ready for the 2024-2025 basketball season. 

“All I’ve been thinking about is how can we move forward and get better because we already have a strong foundation and we’ve been successful so we know what it takes to get there, which I think is a huge thing because when many coaches step in they have to rebuild an entire program,” Hodge said. “I know that’s not the case, we can already build on what we started and implement new things. 

The girls were very excited to have her as their new coach as all the girls had close bonds with her and Hodge has made different impacts on their lives.

Sophomore Jessica Borders feels excited to have Hodge as their new head coach. 

“I felt really excited,” Borders said. “I know how hard Hodge worked to get this job and it was like the perfect opportunity for her and I’m just so excited and so happy to have her as our head coach. I’m excited to see all the amazing things she’s gonna do for us in the future.”


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About the Contributor
Maya Gee
Maya Gee, Writer
Maya Gee is a Writer for the Olathe West newspaper. This is her first year on the staff. Maya is involved with the KAY Club, sophomore committee and the basketball team. Outside of school Maya enjoys hanging out with friends, playing basketball, she mainly enjoys watching college basketball. Her favorite team is KU. Maya is looking forward to getting more involved with the school, and learning new things about the newspaper. What Maya loves most about journalism is getting to write stories and learn more about certain things about this. 

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