Anyone who speaks with Coach Heidi immediately realizes that there is a positive spark and natural joy about her. “My mom raised me to make lemonade,” she says with a smile. “You have to find the positive in everything you do.” That positive energy is apparent as you watch Coach Heidi escort young Knights to Lower School during carpool, as you see her enjoy a laugh with her colleagues and as her team makes her proud on the softball field.
“I always knew I wanted to be a teacher,” says Coach Heidi. Growing up she had great examples of the positive influence of teachers in her grandmother, who was a teacher and administrator, and her neighbor former Episcopal Athletic Director Myra Mansur. “I wanted to be just like Ms. Myra when I grew up,” she says. Coach Heidi grew up on the softball field, playing outfield, catcher and third base. Her love for the sport began while playing tee-ball as a young girl. “My happy place is a field,” she says. Eventually, she also played basketball and danced, but it was that initial love of softball that remains a constant. “It’s in my blood,” she says.
Throughout high school in north Louisiana, Coach Heidi honed her softball skills and earned a scholarship to play at Mississippi College. She remembers her first day of college practice. “I went to the dorm room and cried,” says Coach Heidi. “I called my mom and said this was a dream come true, and if I never step foot on a field again, I’ll be ok.” However, Coach Heidi continued living her dream and even went on to be a graduate assistant for the team. After college, she returned to Baton Rouge as a PreK teacher and administrator at KinderCare Learning Center. As soon as she returned, Coach Heidi reached out to her friend and mentor Ms. Myra. It was July 2000 and Ms. Myra was not only excited to hear from Coach Heidi, but she also offered her a job with the Knights. Another of Coach Heidi’s dreams became a reality and she found herself coaching first base while Ms. Myra coached third.
Coach Heidi grew up on the softball field and loves her role as the Knights Head Softball Coach.
After 20 years at Episcopal, Coach Heidi is still all smiles as she discusses her dream job. “I’ve always loved school,” she says. That love now encompasses a community of former and current players, Lower School PE students and her coaching colleagues. “This is where I want to retire from,” she says. It’s also the place where, in 2008, she married her husband Jeff. Her son Drew is following in her footsteps, growing up on the field just as Coach Heidi did. “He loves to be here as much as I do,” she says. In fact, fourth grade Drew may one day be a coach as he aspires to be the Episcopal Athletic Director.