Ashton Guin is the new head softball coach and math teacher at Ruston High School. Guin is a graduate of Louisiana Tech, where she was a manager for the Lady Techsters softball program.
1. Has softball always been part of your life?
My dad was a Little League Baseball coach when I was in elementary, but I didn’t pick up a softball until I was in the seventh grade. Since then, softball has been my passion through high school, travel ball, college and into coaching.
2. When did you decide to become a coach?
I started coaching at 17, right out of high school, for the 14u team in my organization. As those kids moved up, so did I and I continued to coach that group through to 18u. During that time, I realized it wasn’t just a hobby, but something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Most coaches I knew went the kinesiology route, and so I moved out of secondary math to physical education. P.E. was fun, but it wasn’t fulfilling for me, so I ended up moving into the classroom. Now, ironically, I am teaching high school math and I am just as passionate about teaching as I am coaching.
3. You were coaching at Byrd, your alma mater. What convinced you to come to Ruston High as a math teacher and head coach?
I always wanted to return to Byrd and to turn it into the program it deserved to be. There were so many coaches over the past 10 years, and I thought with some stability and the potential of the current players, I could turn it around. The program has so much potential. When the position at Byrd originally came open, I didn’t think I was ready, so instead I passed up on the opportunity and served as the assistant coach for four years. After the fourth year, I knew I was ready to move up. Byrd’s position wasn’t open. I did, however; have opportunities at other high schools and a D3 college in Texas. I was tempted to take the college route until I became aware of Ruston’s open position. Without a doubt, RHS can be a softball powerhouse. Their facilities are beyond anything in the area, the school has an A rating, and they even had a math opening. I couldn’t have found a better opportunity than becoming a Ruston Bearcat.
4. What has been the biggest surprise or change you are experiencing since joining the RHS faculty?
I will say, the last school I taught at didn’t have stairs! The faculty at RHS has been very welcoming and helpful during my transition and nothing has proven to be difficult thanks to their support. The biggest change is being away from my family, but my softball players and parents are a very close second. I have many coaches I can rely on for assistance and my content and team teachers have my back in the classroom. Principal (Dan) Gressett runs a tight ship here and I couldn’t ask for a better school, colleagues, students, parents or players.
5. Tell us about your coaching and/or teaching philosophy.
My philosophy is to develop players/students who give 100% in everything they do in life AND enjoy doing it. In the end, athletes who aren’t having fun won’t be contributing, and it takes every player to be successful at any level of softball. I believe in giving everybody the chance to succeed. We focus on working from the ground up, understanding the intellectual and psychological part of the game, and hope that the mentality it creates will lead to winning on the field.