Coaching changes coming to Panther athletics

Travis Williams, from Douglas High School in Douglas, Wyoming, will assume the position of boys basketball coach upon Wenatchee School Board approval, according to an announcement Principal Bob Celebrezze made via email on April 28.

Celebrezze also announced via email on April 25 that PE teacher Emily McLean will lead the volleyball program.

With the contract for former basketball coach Ron Stone not renewed for next year, Williams, who has been searching for jobs in the Northwest, enters the position with three years experience as head coach at Douglas High School and experience as assistant head coach at the University of Montana Western in Dillon, Montana, where Williams also played basketball.

Williams will also be a Career Technical Education teacher at WHS. “I had been a business teacher and basketball coach, and since both positions were open, it seemed like a natural fit for me,” Williams said. “I like the area, it’s beautiful, and I had a good feeling [about WHS] after I left the interview.”

Williams, upon the start of next year’s basketball season, plans to “evaluate the talent, find their strengths,” and move on from there. “I want to keep the team competitive. I’m well aware that they made the State tournament last year, and I would like to see that happen again, but I also want to make this a good experience for everyone on the team and help them grow into good young men,” Williams said.

McLean, who has been coaching junior varsity volleyball for eight years and played college-level volleyball, took on the position upon the resignation of former volleyball Coach LeAnne Branam. Seeing talent on the junior varsity teams, McLean is looking forward to the next year’s season. “You never know with a new season, but of course you wish for your athletes to improve and learn about the game, but more importantly believe that they can achieve. They need to buy into it,” McLean said.

McLean brings new goals to the WHS volleyball team. “My focus is hope to encourage team bonding. I want them to know they’re part of a team and that they work for a team to really foster that family feeling,” McLean said.