By BRODY FELDMANN
Yukon High School’s girls’ soccer program found its new head coach Monday night when the Yukon School Board approved the selection of Danielle Cushing.
“I am so excited to get started,” she said.
Cushing is a graduate of Oklahoma State University, where she received both an undergraduate and a master’s degree.
She transferred to OSU after spending her freshman year playing soccer as the goal keeper at Marshall University.
“I was goalie. I was a goalie wannabe field player though,” she said.
But she had to retire from playing after receiving six concussions in four years.
“I went there for my freshman year of college and unfortunately had to medically retire after one year because I got six concussions in four years,” she said. “But I grew up playing soccer. I played club. I played high school. I won a few state championships, so soccer has been my entire life, you could say.”
After graduating from OSU, Cushing moved back to her hometown to coach and teach at her alma-mater, Mountain Vista High School in Colorado.
Cushing was serving as a head soccer coach for the girls’ junior varsity team and the boys freshman/sophomore squad.
Cushing was brought to the Oklahoma City area due to her fiance being transferred to the area for work.
“My fiance’s job relocated us to the Oklahoma City area. I went to Oklahoma State for my undergrad and graduate degree, so I’m familiar with the area. But ultimately his job brought us out here again,” she said.
She will teach special education, said Yukon athletic director Mike Clark.
“I hope to bring a family-oriented team. I hope that everyone feels comfortable to be there, they feel that they belong, they feel that they are learning, and that they can do anything without being judged,” Cushing said. “I hope to just bring a culture that everyone is always welcomed and that you will learn something every day. Even if it’s not just soccer. You are building relationships on and off the field and just being a part of something that is bigger than yourself.”
Clark said despite the fact that Cushing doesn’t have significant head coaching experience, she is the right person for the job.
“We’re excited about having her,” Clark said. “She’s played at this level, and she’s played at a higher level. She’s been very, very successful.”
The athletic director said Cushing’s ability to relate to her players will also help.
“Based on our research, we feel she will get a lot out of our young ladies,” he said.
Cushing is replacing Steve Scott, who had led the Yukon Millerettes for the past seven years. Scott announced that he was retiring as a coach in May.