June 30, 2016

Mostly sunny

Girls golf: Mickey McGrath to coach Bees

MEDINA — Coaching golf is one of the things that make Mickey McGrath feel whole.

Combine passion with opportunity and Medina found its new girls coach.

The 57-year-old was hired last month to replace the popular Lori Hawkins, who resigned for personal reasons after leading the Bees to their first Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division championship.

“I resigned in December from FirstMerit (Bank) and my family said, ‘What do you want to do?’ and I said, ‘I want to coach again,” McGrath said. “So this came about. It was a great opportunity and it’s something that I love. It’s in my blood.”

McGrath hails from the Chicago suburbs and spent the last two years working as a personal banker at FirstMerit’s River Styx branch following her husband’s job transfer to Berea.

Her previous coaching experience came as an assistant at St. Viator High in Illinois. In McGrath’s eight years, the Lions won five conference championships, qualified for the state tournament twice and sent an individual to state in five other seasons.

McGrath also is an accomplished player with nine club championships and four holes-in-one.

Medina recorded an 11-1 dual record in 2012 and was four strokes off a district berth. The Bees are slated to return starters Amanda Rom (43.0 average), McKenzie Debnar (46.3), Madison Loftis (46.5) and Angie Dick (48.8) — the former three were honorable mention All-Gazette, while Dick’s par putt clinched the division title — and touted incoming freshman Mindy Herrick could replace graduated All-Gazette selection Allie Snyder.

“From what I’m hearing and seeing — I’ve been going to quite a few of their events in the summer — we have the talent,” McGrath said. “My goal is to see us thrive on that talent. It’s up to me to motivate them and bring out of best in each of them.”

While McGrath stopped short of boisterous dreams like winning a state title, she believes Medina is in position to contend for a long time.

“Of course the ultimate goal is to take the team down to state, but the goal right now is to build the team,” she said. “I’m trying to build the team for the school and build on what they had.”

Contact Albert Grindle at (330) 721-4043 or agrindle@medina-gazette.com.

Albert Grindle About Albert Grindle

Albert Grindle is a sportswriter for the Gazette. He can be reached at 330-721-4043 or agrindle@medina-gazette.com.