Taft High's athletic director honored for "outstanding leadership and achievement"

Taft High has another Valley champion!

Athletic Director Marsha Eubank became the first AD from Taft High to be selected as the Central Section's Athletic Director of the Year. The annual award dates back to 1974.

"This award goes annually to an athletic director for their outstanding leadership and achievement at their school site," explained Ryan Tos, the AD for Central Valley Christian High School and a member of the selection committee. Tos, who won the award in 2010, told Eubank, 49, "Your name came up quite a few times in the meeting (of the selection committee of the California state athletic directors)."

"It's an honor being selected by your peers," Eubank said. "I have a lot of help at Taft Union High School. It's not just a reflection of me. I think it's a reflection of our district."

Superintendent Bill McDermott, said, this is a "wonderful honor for a member of the staff! I had the pleasure of working with three of the people who have received this award!! She is in great company!"

David Dennis, a longtime cross-country and track coach who set Billy Nelson on his path to the Olympics in the steeplechase, praised Eubank, "The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Marsha's performance as AD is her commitment to all of the students in every sport. She puts her best effort into improving the situation for every student-athlete in every sport. Additionally, we often see the success of the teams but don't recognize the organizational work that begins months in advance to be sure that a season runs smoothly. Marsha always prepares well in advance. Rarely is the important work behind the scenes given its due. I am pleased to see that she has been recognized for her accomplishments."

Jim Carnal, who recently coached the girls' team to the school's first Valley championship in tennis, praised, "I've coached varsity tennis for 18 seasons and, from my perspective, Marsha has always been extremely fair, supportive and knowledgeable. If there is a dispute with another school over rules, I'm always confident when Marsha represents Taft. She always plans ahead and is the best AD I've ever met."

Eubank serves as the South Sequoia League representative to the Central Section board of managers as well as a state CIF representative for basketball.

Awards are nothing new for Eubank. As a junior, her Ankeny High School basketball team won the Iowa state championship and was runner-up her senior year when she a member of the state all-tournament team and was the leading rebounder. Back then, in high school softball there was a fall and spring season and her team won six state championships.

The 5-foot-10 1/2-inch guard/forward played for Simpson University in Indianola, Iowa, as well as first base on the softball team. She snagged a head-coaching job in basketball at DeWitt High School straight out of college, which was unprecedented at the time. She was coach of the year there her last year in 1988-89, and also coached an all-star basketball team that played in South America.

The next year, she came to Taft High, where she coached JV teams and was an athletic PE teacher. In 1998, she moved up to varsity basketball coach and in 1999, she led the team to the Valley championship. She did it again in 2000 and then again in 2003. In 2004, she was promoted to athletic director.

In 2009-10, the California Coaches Association named Eubank female athletic director of the year.

As the newly designated Central Section's Athletic Director of the Year, she will be honored at an awards banquet on April 20, 2013 in Reno.