(Editor's note: Cascade Collegiate Conference media release)
With COVID-19 putting live sporting events on hold, the Cascade Collegiate Conference wanted to take the time to highlight families within our #ThisIsTheCCC community. Many of our member institutions have administration, coaches and student-athletes family members competing together, making the CCC truly a family affair.
CORVALLIS, Ore. – Joey Egan can’t remember a softball memory without her dad in it.
“My dad was always my softball coach growing up,” said Joey. “I do not have any childhood softball memories without my father being there with me. He is the reason my love for this game has continued for so many years.”
Joey’s dad, Gary Ehnes, was the softball coach at the University of Great Falls – now the University of Providence – for seven years before handing over the reins to Joey in 2011 when Gary took over as athletic director for the Argos. Joey, who played in college at Montana State Billings, helped him start the program in 2006 and discovered her love for coaching that year.
“I always knew I wanted to play college softball, but I didn’t realize my calling to be a coach until my dad asked me to help him start the softball program at UGF,” said Joey, entering her ninth season as the Argos’ head softball coach. “I got to learn so much from watching my dad coach and being his assistant. He always had a way of knowing exactly what to say – something I am still trying to learn from him each day.”
When Gary took on the role of athletic director in 2011, the university president offered Joey the head position and things got a little interesting.
“My dad stayed with me as an assistant coach for a while, so our relationship got interesting,” said Joey. “He was my father, my boss, and my assistant. But we made the most out of it and have some pretty great memories.”
Gary has since retired, but Joey still looks up to her father and relies on his insights.
“My dad is my rock and inspires me every day with his strength,” said Joey. “He still always has the best advice and helps me through so many hard coaching decisions and life decisions. He taught me that coaching is about making a difference in young lives, while playing the game you love is an added bonus, and to never stop learning and growing.”