SOU Assistant Mayben heads to Arizona Christian – Medford News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News
ASHLAND – For 26 games in the spring of 2020, Mike Mayben was the one to call the shots for the Southern Oregon University softball program.
Almost a year and a half later, Mayben will once again lead a college softball program. Except this one will be in the Arizona desert, not Rogue Valley.
Mayben, who was SOU’s interim head coach in 2020 after Jessica Pistole left for the University of San Diego, has been hired as the new head coach at Arizona Christian University, an NAIA school in Glendale, in Arizona, who went from 8 to 16 last season. . Mayben will have the chance to train alongside his wife Casey again, the two working together for the first time in their days at North Medford High.
“I visited Arizona Christian and that’s when he really settled in and I knew it would be a great home for Casey and I to be able to train together,” said Mayben. “They have an interim coach who wants to stay on staff, so there is an assistant coaching staff built into this place who greeted us, let us in and made us feel really welcome.
“We are really excited about the opportunity to be in a NAIA level Christian school and it really fits a lot of the little bits and pieces that we have been involved in over the last few years. We’re thrilled to be able to serve there and to be part of a coaching team that’s thrilled to have us.
Mayben said he first heard about the work through his youngest daughter, Mia, who studies at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona. He originally thought that he would go through the interview process and see what happened, not having many expectations of whether or not to get the job.
“I honestly thought we were just going to go through the process and keep going,” Maybe recalls. “I remember thinking, ‘I love where I teach in the Medford School District, I love coaching at SOU and I don’t need anything to change. “”
What sealed him was the chance to coach alongside his wife again, something the two have discussed doing “over the past four years.”
“It was right at the top of the list,” Mayben said, adding that Casey’s role would be to work directly with the ACU players. “We enjoyed coaching together for 12 years in North Medford, and it was important for us to build a community and work in that community not only to create a softball program, but the community at large at Glendale as well. . “
Mayben’s other daughter, Taelor, just finished her softball career at SOU and is about to start working on her Masters, which means the lifelong Rogue Valley native felt it was the right one. moment to step out of his comfort zone.
“The only time I’ve spent outside the Valley is my four years at college in Salem and Portland,” Mayben said. “It will be strange not to be in the valley, just to be in North Medford, to work in North Medford, to serve that community there and then have the opportunity to expand that to SOU and do part of that family there.
“The uniforms and the numbers can change,” continued Mayben, “but the hard part is getting involved in a community we’re brand new to. At least so far we have felt extremely welcome with open arms and appreciate the ACU family there and the staff there.
Mayben served four years on the SOU coaching staff after a very successful run as head coach at North Medford, a 12-year stint where he compiled a 275-66 record and led the Black Tornado to four state titles. He has been named OSAA Class 6A Coach of the Year four times and Southwestern Conference Coach of the Year on six different occasions.
Mayben succeeded Pistole when she moved to the USD after leading SOU to her first-ever national title in 2019, leading the Raiders to a 23-3 record before the pandemic forced the remainder of the 2020 season. to be canceled.
When Pistole returned to Ashland, Mayben remained his best assistant, helping the veteran Raiders win their second NAIA World Series title in the past two full seasons. The Raiders’ coaching staff was named NAIA Staff of the Year in 2019 and 2021.
It’s this selfless act of staying on staff that Pistole has continually emphasized about the Mayben kind of person and coach.
Regardless of his title while at SOU, Mayben is truly grateful to have the chance to train and learn with the Raiders at the same time.
“There’s a process to all of this, and that process involves finding the right players in a program that you want to run,” Mayben said. “Finding players who want to come in and work extremely hard, compete, have that willingness to compete to be the best they can be, and then have a plan made from fall until the end of the year that really pushes them to work continuously. tough and competitive. This is something that has impressed me a lot about the (SOU) program since I got there.
“It all starts with a state of mind, then goes through the mechanics and into the field. This piece is something we’re going to step away from and bring to Arizona Christian. It’s really about having that competitive mindset, of competing every day that you train.
You can also put a good chance that a game or two between Southern Oregon and Arizona Christian also plays out next season.
“We hope March 4 and 5 are over,” Mayben said with a laugh. “We need to figure out the travel budgets and figure out exactly what we can do, but this weekend is open for both of us right now. We are talking about it and hope it is something we can do from the start.
“We hope to show these players (Arizona Christian) where we grew up and engaged over 16 years of training and also for them to experience SOU and what that championship culture is like.”
Contact Danny Penza at 541-776-4469 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @penzatopaper.