LONGMONT, Colo. (CBS4)– The Longmont Christian School baseball team has made history this year, and the season hasn’t even started.
The school hired Kami Puchino as head baseball coach, making her the first female varsity baseball coach in Colorado High School Athletics history.
School administrators told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas their decision to hire Puchino was strictly made off of qualifications, and not making history within the state.
“I’ve coached for 24 years competitive softball, and this is something I wanted to do,” Puchino said.
Puchino said she was unaware of the making of history when she accepted the position.
Puchino said she wanted to coach the sport she loves, “It’s in my blood. It’s something I do.”
For her players, they said Puchino coaching wasn’t a curve ball for them.
“I really didn’t have a problem with it,” said Rylee Dugan, a sophomore.
“Neither did I. nothing really changed,” said Ryan Shellenberger, a sophomore. “She knows what she is doing.”
“I thought it was cool,” said Christian Hudgins, a junior.
All players CBS4 spoke with said they had never been coached by a female before Puchino.
However, all said they were shocked to hear she was the first female to ever serve as head coach for a Colorado varsity baseball team.
“I had no idea,” Shellenberger said.
“That is really cool, that our coach is the first female coach,” Dugan said.
Those CBS4 spoke with said Puchino pushed them to be better athletes.
“She values hard work, which is an important thing,” Shellenberger said.
“There’s no letting up. No messing up. If you mess up, you have to run,” Dugan said.
Puchino said she wasn’t concerned about setting a standard for other school programs. She said she simply wanted to see her athletes improve their record, and enjoy the game.
“(Being the first female head coach) is no big deal. I just want to go out and coach, I love it. I love the kids. I love the sport. I don’t do it for the glory, I do it for the kids,” Puchino said.
Puchino said she is interested in letting girls try out for the team. She said, so long as they can stay competitive and play the game at a high level, anyone is welcome to try out.
Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.