Bonuchi steps down as Bulldogs softball coach
     2014-05-08      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen
Photo by Sheila Weber/Sheila Weber Photography - Isabel Thompson receives a high five from coach Molly Bonuchi after hitting a home run that brought in teammate Haylee Duyck. 
Molly Bonuchi, who led the Gering softball team for five years and to consecutive 20-win seasons the past two fall campaigns, said she has found her increased obligations at Western Nebraska Community College are too much for her to also continue coaching the Bulldogs.

With much thought and regret, but with the need to devote her full-time attention to her expanded WNCC duties, Bonuchi said she submitted her resignation as the Bulldogs’ coach to Glen Koski, director of activities for Gering Public Schools on April 29.

“I’m trying to look out for the best interest of the girls and the Gering girls’ softball team,” Bonuchi said Friday, thus ending a five-year stint in which the Bulldogs compiled an 88-60 record.

“My job has changed quite a bit over the last year. It’s evolved into some more responsibilities, and if I can’t coach and commit the way I want, it’s not fair to the girls.”

Gering lost just three seniors off a team that worked its way through a dramatic district tournament before the Bulldogs finished the tourney with a 3-2 record.

That last win, a come-from-behind victory over Cozad, helped lift Gering to a final season record of 20-9, following a 2012 campaign in which the Bulldogs finished 21-7 and entered the district tournament as the No. 1 seed with a 20-5 regular-season mark.
“It was a hard decision, but I think in the long run it’s going to be best for the girls,” Bonuchi said of leaving the Gering program.

“The program has developed and there have been a lot of good moves over the last couple years. There’s not a place where we didn’t go where coaches and umpires would come up and say, ‘Holy buckets, you guys have really improved.’”

Bonuchi said she believes a solid foundation has been built for continued success for the Bulldog program.

”I anticipate there to continue to be big things happening with the program, and that’s what I hope for the program and for the girls,” she said.

“They work hard and have a lot of athletic girls, they have a lot of talent and a lot of freshmen. Within the next two or three years, I know there are some young girls I’ve been watching over the last few years that I would anticipate will contribute to the program as well.”

Bonuchi said she might coach again in the future, but for now she needs to concentrate on her responsibilities at WNCC that she gained following her earning her master’s degree last summer.

Bonuchi, who came to WNCC as assistant director of residence life in 2006, also spent five seasons as assistant coach of the Cougars’ softball team through last year. She then added the duties of assistant director of student life and Student Transitions to her promotion as co-director of residence life.

“I am very thankful for the opportunities that I had there,” Bonuchi said of her experience in coaching at Gering. “I made a lot of good relationships with the players and parents. There is definitely a lot of parent support, and the parents have pulled a lot more than in some of the other sports.”

Koski said the school district will first look to fill the coaching position internally, and if a qualified candidate cannot be found, it will be advertised externally.

“Molly stepping down is a significant loss for Gering Public schools and the softball program,”Koski said. “Molly has done an excellent job of teaching the fundamentals of the game to the girls and we were always competitive with teams from across the state.”

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