Successful Coaching Program at Museum

Watching or listening to sports teams compete can be great fun. At times, focusing on how the coaches may have built their game plan or watching how they react to their players in the midst of a game can also be exciting or entertaining.

Old Independence Regional Museum is offering their third monthly program about sports on Sunday, April 9 at 2 p.m. It will feature two highly successful head coaches from the Batesville community.

Tracy Stewart-Lange is the head women’s basketball coach at Lyon College, and Dave King is the head football coach and athletic director at Batesville High School. These two coaches epitomize the museum’s 2017 theme of Our Team –Our Pride.

Both of these coaches were award-winning college athletes. Coach King was an All-American baseball player at John Brown University, and Coach Stewart-Lange was an All-District and All-Conference basketball player and was the Winnie Marable Award recipient as the top female student athlete her senior year at Arkansas (now Lyon) College. She is also a member of the Lyon College Athletic Hall of Fame.

Coach King’s Batesville High squads have averaged nine victories per season during his 20-year tenure. His teams have won a state championship and have reached at least the semi-finals of the state playoffs each of the last seven seasons.

Coach Stewart-Lange returned to her hometown of Batesville to raise her family and lead the Lyon women’s program after coaching at the NCAA Division I level at several SEC and Sunbelt Conference universities. Her Lyon teams have qualified for the NAIA National Tournament each of the last six seasons, and have consistently been nationally ranked.

The coaches will share insights into their coaching philosophies through a panel discussion format. Those attending will be invited to ask them questions and discuss with them varying ideas about coaching.

“We are excited to hear these two coaches share their thoughts, and to have an open forum for the audience to interact with them,” said Twyla Wright, museum exhibit curator. “We had a great time, with a full house, last month when Coach Stuart Smith talked about local athletic champions. I hope the community will come out for each of these monthly programs and enjoy them,  along with our sports exhibit. Remember— the Smithsonian Institution’s traveling exhibit will also open in our museum at the end of this year!” Wright said.

Upcoming programs will focus on sports photography, media sports coverage, community recreation, player safety, regional sports history and more. Bruce Johnston, museum program chairman encourages readers to watch for future announcement of each of these interesting programs, which are free and open to the public.

The program will be free and open to the public.  Normal museum hours are: Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Admission is $3.00 for adults, $2.00 for seniors and $1.00 for children.  The museum is located at 380 South 9th street, between Boswell and Vine Streets in Batesville.

Old Independence is a regional museum serving a 12-county area: Baxter, Cleburne, Fulton, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Marion, Poinsett, Sharp, Stone, White, and Woodruff.  Parts of these present-day counties comprised the original Independence County in 1820’s Arkansas territory.