McCann takes charge at Callaway

Published 8:31 am Tuesday, June 5, 2018


Daily News

She was the obvious choice.

When Ashley Summerlin announced that he was leaving Callaway to become the head baseball coach at Port St. Joe (Fla.), that left an opening as the softball coach at his old school.

The person Callaway athletics director Pete Wiggins wanted to replace Summerlin as softball coach was Robyn McCann.

McCann had not only been an assistant coach in softball

for more than 10 years, but she’s as closely tied to Callaway’s athletics program as almost anyone.

So upon Summerlin’s announcement, Wiggins asked McCann if she would like to take over the program.

There was one potential stumbling block.

McCann wasn’t sure she wanted the job, so she asked Wiggins if she could take a while to make a decision.

“I have two elderly parents, my sister lives two hours away, and I’m a single mom,” McCann said. “He’s 20, but still, I’m his mom. I said let me talk to them. It started getting out, and I started getting phone calls. So, (her son Ty) was all for it. He said pleased do it. I’ve always wanted you to do it. And now my dad, he wants to help, and come do stuff down here. That’ll be even better, trying to give them something to do. Pete finally called and said you’re making me nervous, so I said yes.”

McCann wanted a different way to let the players know she’d be the new head coach, so during a meeting with the players, they gave each of them an envelope.

Inside the envelope was a letter indicating that McCann would take over the softball program, and the players cheered and gave their new coach a group hug.

The moment was captured on video and shared on Facebook, and McCann was gratified with the support she received.

“It was on social media, and teachers and coaches from here started calling,” McCann said. “I even had businesses calling. I was overwhelmed at the support, just from seeing it on social media.”

McCann takes over a program on the upswing.

Last year, Callaway won the first state-playoff series in the history of the program, and a talented group of players will return this season as the team looks to maintain the momentum.

After she accepted the position, McCann met with the seniors, and she was pleased with what she heard from them.

“I went to eat with the seniors, and we talked and sat down and ate and had a conversation,” McCann said. “They just said, we’re ready. That was one of my things, I want the seniors to step up and be leaders. They said we want to do it.”

McCann has also been pleased with the participation by the players in an offseason workout program.

“We started at the middle school, nothing with the ball, just weights, agility, ladders. We had a good turnout,” McCann said. “We had 32 some days. I don’t think we were ever below 20 a day. So that’s just been amazing.”

“They tried it last year, and we may have had four or five,” she added. “We went to the middle school, and I met with them, and they said we’re coming. And we had 33. It dwindled down, but we ended up with probably 26, 27.”

McCann went to Heard County High, and she was a multi-sport standout playing basketball, softball and tennis.

McCann then played softball at Columbus College before beginning a career in education.

McCann, who is a physical education teacher at Callaway Elementary School, served one stint as a softball coach at Callaway High under Ken Mapp.

She later returned as a softball coach at the school, and she has held that position for the past 11 seasons.

Jacob Rice, another assistant softball coach at Callaway, is glad to see his colleague get the head-coaching job.

“You go outside, and you don’t know what you’re going to get,” McCann said. “With her connection with the girls, it was just an easier transition.”