Coming off of a trip to the second round of the Class 6 MHSAA playoffs, the Gulfport softball program will undergo a change at the top.
Longtime coach Ryan Hodge announced his resignation following the 14-13 season in order to take the same job closer to family at South Jones.
Gulfport moved swiftly and Monday night the Board of Trustees approved the promotion of Kristi Basso to head coach.
Basso, a Ponchatoula, Louisiana, native, spent the last two seasons at Gulfport as the Lady Admirals pitching coach. Prior to that she coached at Alabama junior college Marion Military Institute and her alma mater, Delta State.
“We feel like the program is headed in the right direction and we think she gives us the opportunity for a seamless transition,” GHS athletic director Bryan Caldwell said. “She’s very dynamic, knows the game and already has a great relationship with our players.”
Basso said she was grateful for the opportunity to take over the program and is eager to get started.
“I want to keep the ship moving in the right direction and build on the foundation that was built by Coach Hodge,” she said. “We had a lot of young players on the field this year and they’re only going to get better.
“I’m excited to get in here in the offseason and work with all the players.”
Basso believes the Lady Admirals can build on this year’s success, which included defeating Oak Grove in the first round of the playoffs.
“They got a taste of success this year. They’re hungry and ready to go again,” she said. “It’s nice to see that light and realize the top of the mountain is definitely within reach.”
Basso expects the Lady Admirals to have a more aggressive approach moving forward.
“We’re going to go back to basics,” she said. “Once we get those down we’ll make some things happen.”