WEBSTER CITY, Iowa — Over the past several years, we've seen more women being hired onto coaching staffs in men's sports. It's still very far and few between, but the door has certainly been opened for others to follow.
One of them is Taylor McKinney, an assistant baseball coach for Webster City High School who is one of, if not the only woman on a high school baseball coaching staff in Iowa.
For McKinney, Webster City High school is a very special place. It's where she made a name for herself as one of the best athletes in the school's history.
Now she's making history for Webster City once again. This time, not as a player, but as a coach.
"Adison Kehoe, our head coach, he gave me the opportunity to coach here for little kids last year and then this year, he gave me the opportunity to become the JV coach," said McKinney. "So, I am now an assistant coach and I just love the game of baseball and I love being around the boys."
Kehoe said Mckinney's mind for the game and the energy she brings are what made him want her on his staff.
"She is by far the most energetic person," said Kehoe. "I mean, she's one of those that she kind of steps in the dugout and whatever else and people naturally gravitate towards her and then you add a baseball mind to it, it's just one of those things where it just builds on top of the other."
McKinney is also a fairly young coach and even went to school with some of the players she coaches.
"Since I just graduated a few years ago, I know their head space and where they're at," said McKinney.
It makes her more relatable than the average coach and it's something the players really appreciate about her.
"It's really fun and all the boys like her," said Webster City shortstop Ty McKinney. "She's young and everybody thinks of her as a sister."
In fact, she's actually Ty's older sister.
"You know, at first, I wasn't a fan and you know, I was like it's the one sport I don't have a family member as a coach because my dad's a coach for football and basketball," said Ty. "So, as soon as I heard it I was like, are you kidding me? But now, ever since she's been a coach, it's actually been really fun you know. Not many people get to see a girl as a baseball coach."
McKinney is proud to be a part of the coaching staff, not only because of what Webster City High School means to her and her family but also what this means for girls and women in sports.
"A lot of females don't coach boys teams such as baseball," said McKinney. "So, I think breaking that barrier is really cool. I think having that opportunity that Adison gave me is great and the boys respect me."
The team is proud to have McKinney as one of their coaches.
"She is everything that I think Webster City community is," said Kehoe. "We are fortunate to have her in baseball."
McKinney is currently a para and is working to earn a teaching degree. Once she graduates, she hopes to teach and coach softball full-time at Webster City.