Lindsay Vanover Takes Over Softball Program At Sparkman High
HARVEST- Filling the shoes of a retired legendary coach is a tough order to fill for any young, enthusiastic coach, but Lindsay Vanover said she’s up for the challenge that has been presented her as the new Sparkman High softball coach. Vanover has officially stepped into the hot seat left by Dale Palmer who retired as the program’s head coach after winning six AHSAA State Championships, four state runner-up finishes and over 1,000 victories since taking over the program in 1997.
“I’m excited about carrying on such a great winning tradition that Coach Palmer established here,” said Vanover. “This is certainly a talent hotbed and I can’t be more proud of taking over such an enormously successful program.”
Vanover comes to the Class 7A Sparkman program after spending 10 years in the college ranks where she was head coach at the University of Montevallo for the last seven years and three seasons prior to that as an assistant at Dartmouth College. Add the five seasons she served as the head coach of the Pasadena Memorial High School located in Pasadena, Tex., and the Sparkman program looks to be receiving enormous experience and knowledge from the 38-year old Vanover.
“I feel comfortable coming back to the high school level as here you actually get to coach these girls, not just in softball, but how to live life and how to be successful adults,” said Vanover.
She is making her way to live in the immediate area along with her boyfriend of almost for years, Shane Posey, and his two children ages 15 and six. Posey will work at the Huntsville location of Peterbilt. She will teach physical education at Sparkman.
Athletics, coaching and teaching have been a big part of her life as both of per parents were coaches and teachers.
She was a five-sport athlete and was an All-Star catcher for her school’s softball team. She earned a scholarship to play at the University of Houston where she earned a degree in Health and Physical Education specializing in Kinesiology, the study of the human body movement, and later earned a Master’s degree at Texas Woman’s University. Her education has helped her in her coaching experiences and she has utilized her studies to assist in her coaching of how body movement can make a huge difference in athletics.
Her move from high school to college as a softball player did come easy for Vanover. In her senior season, she broke her leg and she and her father spent many hours putting together a recruiting video in her search for a scholarship. She attended tryouts with her broken leg and remembered sitting on a bucket throwing the softball to show recruiters her throwing talents as a catcher.
“I went through all of that and here I am,” said Vanover. “I believe if your heart is in it, you can make it happen.”
Her high school experiences included her being the Homecoming Queen her senior year, as well as, an outstanding athlete. All of those years have shaped her to what she is today. She’s in a position she had no intention to pursue, but found out the position was coming her open from good friend in Palmer.
“I spoke with him and he told me of his intentions to retire,” said Vanover. “I had several job offers presented to me and the Sparkman job fell into my lap. I’m grateful to be in the Harvest community and the winning tradition that has been in place for many years. I plan on hitting the ground running. I’m firm in my style of coaching and put value in ethics. I expect to win the right way and push these kids beyond their comfort zone. Our program will compete and be classy as that’s how you become a champion. I teach my players life, school and softball.”