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Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Sports is about more than winning games

By By the Advocate Editorial Board
Aug. 7, 2013 at 3:07 a.m.

Lambeth earns kudos for tenure as Jaguars coach

The University of Houston-Victoria hired the perfect woman to start its softball program.

Keri Lambeth embraced that challenge and took the program on a successful six-year run.

On the field, Lambeth's teams won at least 30 games each year, won two conference championships and earned a trip to nationals three times.

She was the epitome of success. So it was bittersweet news when she announced she's leaving the program for personal reasons.

She and her husband, Ryan, and two daughters, Kierstyn and Kyleigh, are moving to the Houston area, where Ryan accepted a new job.

The rigors of college coaching are tough on a young family.

Her daughters were born during her tenure as a coach.

"My daughters are 4 and 2. They've missed me a lot," Lambeth said. "It hasn't been easy doing that. I'm excited for the new adventure we'll have."

Lambeth's focus now switches from coaching college softball to teaching intermediate school students and coaching seventh-grade volleyball.

We're confident Lambeth has left the UHV softball program on strong footing. She's built a solid foundation, and interim coach Lindsey Ortiz should have plenty of success.

Ortiz has been with Lambeth from the beginning, first as a player and then as an assistant coach for four years.

"She has a fully vested interest. She'll do an amazing job," Lambeth said. "She's going to take over, and she's going to be great. We won't miss a beat."

One thing is worth noting about Lambeth's successful run as the Jaguars coach.

The on-field accomplishments are nice, but she's always insisted on strong classroom and volunteer work from her players.

"That's my greatest accomplishment - seeing so many of those girls graduate," Lambeth said.

That is something you can't overlook, and it deserves major kudos.

You had a good run, coach. Good luck in your new adventure.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.

Since their inaugural season in 2009, the Victoria Generals have brought fun, excitement and more to Victoria. Every year, from the first week of June to the middle of August, collegiate athletes come to our hometown to take part in the Texas Collegiate League.

But behind the games and ballpark action is a support system that hinges on everyday families who host the players year after year. According to the Generals' website, host families are responsible for providing some basic needs for players during the two and a half months the players are in Victoria. Players need a bed, access to a bathroom, one or two meals a day when the team is at home and access to the home either with a key or a garage door opener.

We applaud the families who are gracious and loving enough to accept these college players into their homes for the summer season. These families don't just give players a place to sleep and eat. Many of them, such as the Thornton and Shelby families featured in our Sunday Sports section, welcome these players and treat them as members of their families.

We would like to thank all of the families who volunteer their time and homes to host these players. Without your hospitality, the Generals would not be possible.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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