Derek Witt has resigned as head coach of the Shoreline Community College women’s basketball team.
“I was offered a full-time position and with a baby due in May and my wife getting nervous, I just had to take it,” Witt said, noting that the position at SCC is part time. Witt said he’ll be representing a Buffalo, NY, advertising firm in the Northwest. “I’d been talking to them for a couple of weeks, but they called me Friday with an offer and I just had to take it.”
SCC Athletic Director Doug Palmer said he got a call Friday evening from Witt with the resignation news. “I want to thank Derek and wish him the best of luck,” Palmer said.
Taking over the reins as interim coach for the rest of this season will be a familiar face on the SCC basketball court, Steve Eskridge. A full-time college employee in the athletic department, Eskridge was head men’s coach for 14 years during which time the school won two divisional titles. This is his first time coaching a women’s team.
Eskridge has already coached his first game, Saturday, Jan 31, against Peninsula, a 71-42 loss.
“I met with the team Saturday (Jan. 31) afternoon,” Eskridge said. “I told them we’d work together as
a team.” Eskridge added that he planned to install
some basic offensive and defensive sets to use for the remaining games.
“When I saw this team in November, I thought there was the talent to play well,” he said. Despite injuries and player turnover, Eskridge said the team has the potential to win some more games this season. “I’m excited,” Eskridge said. “I missed the basketball.”
While the timing was tough, Palmer said he sees the change as positive for all parties. “Derek gets a full-time job and the team members get an experienced, supportive coach to continue in their efforts,” he said.
Witt came to SCC after women’s basketball was cancelled in the middle of the 2005-06 season due to too few players to continue. “The team went from no wins to five wins last year and eight so far this year with eight league games left to play,” Palmer said.
Before coming to SCC, Witt said he was at Peninsula Community College in Port Angeles for stints as women’s and men’s head coach. He also worked at community colleges in Kansas and Missouri. Also leaving SCC is Witt’s assistant coach, Scott Dwight. Second assistant Brieah Marion will continue working with the team.