Canby’s new softball coach for the 2020 spring season is, well, not exactly “new” to Canby athletics.
Ty Kraft was a three-sport athlete all four years at Canby High School (class of 1990). The nine-time varsity letterman was all-league honors in basketball and baseball, and earned 1989 all-state as a tight end, linebacker and placekicker for the Canby Cougars football team.
He went on to play two years of football at Oregon State. He graduated in ’94 and returned to the area to start his own business, Kraft Screens.
Before long, he was back in the athletic scene as a coach. He helped organize the Canby Rebels club teams and served as softball head coach for four years, winning three straight state championships from 2016 to 2018.
In total, he’s been involved in coaching youth and high school athletics for 24 years (in football, basketball, baseball and softball) and has also served on the Canby School Board.
“My coaching philosophy is program first, team second, and player third,” Kraft explains. “We want to create an environment where the girls not only become great softball players but great students and community leaders.”
He describes success, in coaching and athletics, as being less about what you know and more about how well you can relate to your players or teammates.
“Success comes from the girls buying in from day one that the team needs them to work hard and do whatever the program and team needs of them,” he says.
He thinks one of the greatest assets that will serve him in his new position is the relationships he’s already formed with many of the players, having already helped develop plans for their growth and development as athletes. He believes his biggest challenge will be managing expectations.
“We have a lot of great players who can play the game of softball at a high level,” he says. “It’s a great problem to have, but can create challenges for sure.”
He says he’s most excited about helping create an experience where the girls “have fun, feel a part of something bigger than themselves and love the sport of softball.”
For those interested in participating in softball next year, there will be a parent/player meeting at 6 p.m. Dec. 9 in Room 1 at Canby High School. It will include introductions from Kraft and the other coaching staff, information about Winter Workouts (which begin the week of Jan. 6), as well as a discussion of program philosophy, expectations and communication.
Anyone who has questions about the program can contact Coach Kraft at firstname.lastname@example.org.