By MIKE MOGUIN
GTR Sports Writer
Broken Arrow made a big move when it hired Kassey Embrey to be its girls soccer coach in late May. It came just less than two weeks after she led Booker T. Washington to its second straight Class 5A state championship.
Embrey will be inheriting several starters returning from a squad that was a Class 6A state semifinalist this past season and won the state title over a year ago.
Being one of the top programs in the state is what attracted Embrey to Broken Arrow. But, taking it didn’t come easy.
“I was at Booker T. and they had contacted me to come here and I was hesitant, just because I loved my girls at Booker T and I love my administration at Booker T,” Embrey said. “But when I talked to Steve Dunn about this position here, he just presented it in such a way that you would not say no. It was so great that you would definitely come.”
Embrey is impressed by the amount of support she has.
“The fact that they have their own soccer complex and you don’t have to share with football, that is awesome. They have a strength and conditioning coach here. At Booker T., we weren’t fortunate to have that. We also have athletic trainers to help with injuries. At Booker T., we weren’t fortunate enough to have that. I also get to teach ninth grade girls PE, which I’m super excited about, as opposed to elementary PE, I’m ready to do high school. The list goes on and on about why I am excited to come here.”
The Broken Arrow girls were previously coached for three seasons by Kasey Counts, who stepped away to be with family. Counts had been an assistant when she arrived in 2016. Under her leadership, the Lady Tigers stunned then-eventual state champ Union in the 2017 season opener, won the title in 2018 and went as far as the state semis this past year.
Embrey is a native of Skiatook and played collegiately early in the decade at Oklahoma State. She began her coaching career as an assistant at her alma mater in 2014, then served in the same capacity on the Bixby staff the next two seasons and at Bishop Kelley in 2017, helping the program win the Class 5A state title that year. That, combined with her two titles with BTW as a head coach, makes her part of state title for three straight years. With the talent the Lady Tigers have, Embrey has a chance to be part of a state championship squad for four straight years.
“That’s the goal and it would be awesome,” she said. “These girls can definitely win it for sure.”
Coaching at the 6A level was never something Embrey envisioned.
“I’m kind of a ‘take it one day at a time’ person,” Embrey said. “So I just had intentions to go back to Booker T. I’m super excited to go to 6A, but it wasn’t anything I was specifically shooting for.”
She met with her team for the first time when holding tryouts June 17-18.
“I heard that they have nine of 11 starters, which is awesome,” Embrey said. “The amount of girls that are already committed or looking at D-I universities is an extremely high number, which is awesome. To come into a situation with that many talented players, I’m excited to see how we do.
“The amount of potential is unlimited, I would say,” Embrey added.