In addition to a roster full of new players, the South Plains College women’s basketball team has added two new coaches to the staff.
Landon Steele and Ciarra Edwards are the two newest additions.
Coach Steele is from Tribune, Kansas, where he competed in football, basketball, and track in high school.
Coach Steele went on to play basketball at Cloud County Community College, where he earned an Associate of Science Degree. Steele also earned a degree in General Studies and Health Promotion from Fort Hays State University.
“ I got into coaching because I wanted to stay around the game of basketball,” says Steele. “I also like helping players improve on the court.”
Coach Steele spent eight years coaching high school basketball at Sharon Springs High School in Kansas, two as an assistant boys coach and six as the head girls coach. He later spent two years as the head coach at Northwest Kansas Technical College. He also spent two years as a head coach at Lamar Community College in Lamar, Colorado.
Coach Steele says that he wanted to come to SPC because it was a great opportunity for him and his family.
“I’ve known Coach Petree (head women’s basketball coach at SPC) for a while now,” Coach Steele said, “and she has always talked about what a great place SPC is. So when she offered me the job, it was not even a question as to whether or not my family and I would be moving to SPC.”
Coach Steele said he loves SPC and everyone he has had a chance to meet and work with so far.
Coach Steele says, “Mr. (Andrew) Ruiz, and Mrs. (Vanessa) Olivo in the Registrar’s Office, Dean (Kathryn) Perez, Sammy in the cafeteria, the Business Office, Trish in the Bookstore, obviously everyone in the Athletic Department, everybody has done a phenomenal job of helping our women’s basketball team.”
The thing Coach Steele enjoys most about coaching is the relationships he develops with the players and watching them grow as people and players.
“We have several international players this year,” says Coach Steele. “So it is cool to see everyone working together and learning about each other.”
Coach Steele says that he can’t wait to get the season started, and he thinks the team has a lot of potential.
Coach Steele enjoys watching college football, professional basketball and traveling with his family.
He has been married to his wife Lauren for three years. They have two children, Locklyn Jae, 2, and a 1-month-old baby, Lynlie Kae.
“It takes a special person to be a coach’s spouse,” says Coach Steele. “Coaching demands a lot of your time, and as Lauren likes to say, ‘You’re basically on call 24 hours a day.’”
A Florence, Alabama native, Edwards played basketball, volleyball, track and softball in high school. She went on to play four years of basketball at Shelton State Community College, where she won an Alabama state championship.
Edwards graduated from Shelton State with an Associate of Science Degree, before going on to Mercer University, where her team won back-to-back regular-season championships. Edwards also competed in the Socon Conference meet in track and field, winning a silver medal in Javelin. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Communication, with a minor in Education, from Mercer.
Coach Edwards enjoyed playing basketball so much through the years that she wanted to be able to teach others about the game as well.
“I have always been around the game of basketball and have always been very passionate about it,” explained Coach Edwards.
Coach Edwards says that she wanted to come to SPC because it was a great opportunity for her to grow and develop as a coach under Coach Petree.
“SPC is a very competitive program,” Coach Edwards says, “and I wanted to be able to bring something to the program to help us compete for a national title.”
Coach Edwards says that she enjoys getting to go in the gym every day and work on getting better as a team.
“We have a lot of great players with a lot of potential to be very successful this season,” says Edwards.
In her free time, Coach Edwards enjoys swimming and being outside as much as possible. She also enjoys spending time with her very small family, her parents Jerry and Lisa Edwards, and her younger brother Skyler, 19.