FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb. 16,
POND STEPS DOWN AFTER NINE SEASONSWEATHERFORD, Okla. –Shelly Pond has announced her intentions to resign her position as women’s basketball coach at Southwestern Oklahoma State University at the conclusion of this season.
Pond’s 15-year association with the program as both a player, assistant and later as head coach is the second longest of any women’s coach in the Lone Star Conference.
Pond, 38, who is a mother of two children, cited the demands associated with college coaching and her desire to take a more active role in the activities of her family as the primary factor in her decision. She along with her husband, Doug, have two children, a son, Brooks, 13, and a daughter, Bailee, 8.
“I felt, at this point, it was time to enjoy what being a Mom is all about,” Pond said. “My kids are getting older. I no longer want to miss any more of their games or activities. Basketball has defined me for such a long period in my life that I felt I needed to step away. It’s something that I’ve wrestled with for quite some time, but I feel it is the right one. I’m totally at peace with it.”Pond will also relinquish her instructor duties in SWOSU’s Department of Parks and Recreation and join with her husband in running Pond Agency, an insurance company that services much of Western Oklahoma.
Todd Thurman, SWOSU director of athletics, said “Both the University and I appreciate what Shelly has done for our basketball program. She has been a loyal, hard-working ambassador for this school for many years. We are supportive of her decision and wish her and her family all the best in their future endeavors.”
Thurman said he expects most of the players on the current roster will remain with the program and feels confident that any players signed in the early recruiting period will honor their commitments. SWOSU has eight players on its current roster that have eligibility for next season.
“Our women’s basketball program is in great shape and promises to be even better,” Thurman said. “We have young talented student-athletes who continue to represent the characteristics of what being a part of SWOSU is all about. I’m certain that with our history of championships and the legacy of our women’s basketball program, this job will attract a number of well-qualified applicants who will lead us to even more success.”
Pond had a number of accomplishments at SWOSU since she took over in 2000 after the retirement of longtime coach John Loftin. Her 2005-2006 team won the Lone Star Conference North Division title with a thrilling-overtime victory over Texas A&M-Commerce in the season finale. SWOSU teams made four trips to the Lone Star Conference Tournament under Pond, including pulling off one of the most stunning upsets in tournament history. SWOSU upset top-seeded and South Division Champion Angelo State on the Rambelles home court in 2003 by a 70-55 score.
Prior to her arrival at SWOSU, Pond was a high school coach in her hometown of Binger-Oney and later Weatherford. She played collegiately at SWOSU where she was a member of three NAIA National Tournament teams and a member of the 1990 NAIA National Championship Squad. She was selected as an NAIA Scholar Athlete and was an honorable mention Oklahoma Intercollegiate Conference selection following her senior year in 1992.
Pond grew up in Oney where she was a record-setting high school player during the days of Six-on-Six. She averaged an astonishing 51 points a game as a senior and once scored 78 points in a single game. She ended her career in 1988 as the all-time leading scorer in Oklahoma prep history with 4,299 points.