By RICK PETERSON
Joy Marie Galliart has been selected to lead the Washburn Rural softball program in the 2023-2024 school year.
Galliart will take over for Liz Stover, who will step down as the Junior Blues' coach after the conclusion of the current season after accepting a teaching position at Shawnee Mission South High School.
Galliart played softball at Washburn University and graduated from WU with a bachelor’s degree in biology.
Galliart has served as the head softball coach the past 11 years at Bixby High school in Bixby, Okla.
Prior to her stint at Bixby, Galliart taught and coached at her alma mater, Bishop Kelley High in Tulsa, Okla.
Galliart’s past teams have posted a state runner-up finish and two state quarterfinal finishes. She was named All-State Coach in 2008 and 2019 and has coached several All-State players.
Galliart said she is excited to get back to Topeka where she spent three years playing and one year coaching at Washburn University.
“I am extremely honored and excited to have been afforded the opportunity to join the softball program at Washburn Rural and lead a program so rich in tradition,'' Galliart said in a Washburn Rural releast. "I look forward to continuing to build upon its legacy and represent this community as we compete at the highest level across the state of Kansas.”
Announcing Galliart's appointment to the position, WRHS athletic and activities director Charlie Nimz said: “We believe Joy Marie brings a wealth of softball knowledge, experience coaching at a high level, and a vision that will build on our program’s strong tradition.”
Galliart will assume her new coaching duties this summer and will teach in the Washburn Rural science department at the start of the 2023-2024 school year.
Stover is in her second season as Rural's head coach and led the Junior Blues to a runnerup finish in the Class 6A state tournament in 2022.