#3 | Blue KC Coaches with Character
Susan Mayberry, Basehor-Linwood softball coach
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) and the “C” You in the Major Leagues Foundation have announced Basehor-Linwood softball coach Susan Mayberry as the Blue KC Coaches with Character honoree for the month of June. Her passion for softball and growing the game has been on full display for decades. In 1995, Mayberry offered the first organized softball youth clinic in the metropolitan area. More than 120 girls attended, and from that point forward, she’s been involved in softball coaching.
Mayberry coached a variety of travel teams in the summer and also worked as a national softball clinician for high school and collegiate coaches through the country. In 1996, Mayberry was a coach and clinician at the Olympic softball clinic in Georgia. Her career also extends far beyond the United States, as she has coached softball in Italy and with the Venezuelan national team.
In 1998, Mayberry was named the head varsity softball coach at Basehor-Linwood High School and has been there ever since, having just completed her 25th season. Most recently, her team accomplished an undefeated regular-season and finished as the Kansas Class 5A state runner-up. Throughout the years, her teams have bought into her system and understood the hard work and determination that’s needed to succeed at the highest level.
“When standards are established, they offer a foundation to fall back on,” said Mayberry. “When having to make tough choices and decisions, such as in academic-related situations, a player can hopefully reflect and think, ‘What would coach Mayberry do or think if…’. Our team polices itself. That’s when you know what kind of a team you have. When there are standards in place, the goals and missions are clear year-in and year-out, regardless of winning or losing.”
Mayberry has had a lengthy list of accomplishments and proud moments throughout her career. One of those instances was when she was named the winner of the Major League Baseball Commissioner’s Healthy Coach Exemplary Award. The MLB partnered with the Drug Free Kids Foundation, and Mayberry was recognized for her work as a health teacher that assisted with all students. In that moment, she was known as a teacher first and a coach second.
“Throughout her remarkable career, Coach Mayberry has continuously shown the community what it’s like to be a true leader, role model and valued Kansas Citian,” said Royals President of Baseball Operations and C You in the Major Leagues Founder Dayton Moore. “It speaks volumes when a coach can be well-received within the community, both on and off the softball field, and build and sustain a successful legacy for the past 25 years. We’re delighted to recognize Coach Mayberry as a Blue KC Coaches with Character honoree and enjoy knowing how passionate she is for those she coaches.”
“Creating bonds and friendships that I now have with so many former players and their families are wonderful,” said Mayberry. “But the best part about coaching at Basehor-Linwood is hands-down the opportunity to work with interested athletes and loyal assistant coaches.”
Mayberry advises her players to live in the moment and to only focus on the elements they can control. She believes that if their attention is elsewhere, they’ll miss the opportunities that are presented in front of them. She wants her student-athletes to try every day to be the best version of themselves they can be, and to also always be kind, honest, compassionate and true to one another.
“The best piece of advice given to me regarding coaching is to never sell your soul, meaning once you give in or make decisions outside of your morals and philosophy, you will never get it back.” said Mayberry. “I will forever remember that when making decisions regarding my players, managers, coaches and parents.”
“Susan is an amazing teacher, coach, leader and friend,” said Mayberry’s nominator, Kristen Loney. “She goes above and beyond to care for her students and athletes in ways that extend far beyond her duties in the classroom and on the softball field. Susan has a heart of pure gold, and she takes pride in the success of her softball program and the classes she teaches. But more than that, she prides herself in seeing young men and women succeed in life after high school.”
“As you can tell from Coach Mayberry’s nominator, she understands how to positively impact student-athletes and prepare them for the future,” said Jenny Housley, Blue KC Senior Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer. “While her coaching ability on the softball field is highly distinguished, she utilizes her skills to make lasting impacts on everyone she comes in contact with. It’s a unique trait that we’re proud to recognize through this program.”