Priority shift for Mirts

Hickman coach steps down to spend more time with her kids.
Wednesday, March 2, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 1:35 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

Tonya Mirts has decided to trade in her coach’s whistle for the full-time title of mom.

Mirts resigned as the Hickman girls’ basketball coach Thursday after 11 seasons of coaching, deciding to focus her extra time on her children.

“I have a 10-year-old and a 6-year-old, and they are involved in a lot of activities,” Mirts said. “I have postponed my coaching career to spend more time with my kids.”

The 37-year-old Mirts had plenty of success at Hickman, compiling a career record of 251-60. She led the Kewpies to seven district championships and two state title games.

Hickman made it to the Class 5 final in 2002 and 2004, though neither resulted in a championship. The Kewpies lost 56-44 to St. Joseph’s Academy in 2004.

Mirts experienced her first losing season with Hickman this year, finishing 13-15 after a 51-44 semifinal loss to Rock Bridge in the Class 5 District 10 tournament. Those 15 losses were one more than Mirts lost in the previous four years combined.

After losing three All-State players, and all five starters, it is easy to see why the Kewpies struggled this year. Mirts leaves her replacement a solid foundation, though, as the team will graduate only one senior this year.

Mirts will continue to teach and is not ruling out a return to coaching in the future.

“I’d like to (coach again) someday,” Mirts said, “but lately, I’ve been putting more energy into my team than my own children.”

Tonya’s husband, Doug Mirts, finds himself in an interesting position. He is the assistant principal and the athletic director at Hickman, and he has just lost a basketball coach with outstanding credentials.

“He’s been supportive, and obviously he wants someone successful leading Hickman’s girl’s basketball,” Mirts said, “but this is going to make our lives a lot easier having one of us available to the kids.”

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