By Ben • Ben Schorzman • 

Seifert hired to be new McMinnville softball coach

Courtney Seifert has been hired to coach the McMinnville varsity softball team, it was announced last week by athletic director Mark Hinthorn.

Seifert, 26, is a P.E. and health teacher at Patton Middle School and has coached softball at the junior varsity and JV2 level since 2008.

“Courtney has a strong knowledge of the softball fundamentals,” Hinthorn said. “I’m really excited for her to be working with the Grizzly youth program.”

Seifert, a 2008 graduate of Linfield, takes over for Kylee Nichols. Nichols coached one year at McMinnville and took a job over the summer at Hermiston High school to be the Bulldogs’ varsity softball coach.

“I’m super excited to take over,” Seifert said.

She said she was completely happy as an assistant coach with the Grizzlies and at first didn’t have any ambition to move up to be the head coach, but the players that she has seen grow up helped make up her mind.

“Someone needed to do right by them,” Seifert said. “They were the deciding factor for me.”

Seifert played for former McMinnville coach Larry Nichols in high school at West Salem, and she said she is still close with him. Nichols helped out last year as an assistant after retiring the head coaching position in 2010.

Seifert said assistant coaches Keith Bellwood and Chip Ford would remain with the program. She said she will continue to keep things pretty much the same.

“I’m trying to focus on one thing at a time right now,” she said.

The Grizzlies were 11-16 last season under Kylee Nichols. They were 6-8 in the Pacific Conference and finished fifth. Mac won a play-in game vs. South Medford, and in the first round of the 6A state playoffs, the Grizzlies upset No. 1-seeded Redmond 5-4 on the road. Mac barely lost in the second round at Aloha, 5-4.

The Grizzlies graduated three seniors last year and return 12 players from last year’s roster.

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