Printed on: April 27, 2013

Both Skyline basketball coaches resign

By MICHAEL LYCKLAMA
mlycklama@postregister.com

On Thursday, Skyline High School had a coach for both its boys and girls basketball programs.

On Friday, it had neither.

Skyline boys basketball coach Ty Shippen resigned Friday to accept the head coaching job at Minico. And Skyline girls basketball coach Gretchen Moser notified her team Friday of her resignation so she can take a teaching position in Sheridan, Wyo.

Shippen leaves the boys basketball program after 10 years at the helm. He led the team to a 92-141 record but Skyline failed to make the state tournament under him.

Shippen will take over the Minico boys program and become a counselor, the same job he held at Skyline. His wife Kaly Shippen, a graduate of Minico, also accepted a teaching job in Rupert. She could not find a teaching position in District 91 and also resigned as Skyline's tennis coach.

Shippen said the move was for family, not basketball, reasons.

"I wasn't dissatisfied at Skyline," Ty Shippen, 36, said. "I enjoyed Skyline immensely. But when the opportunity came up and they had all positions at the same time, the stars aligned and it was the right thing to do."

Shippen inherited a program on the rocks when he started at Skyline in the 2003-04 season after KC Jones resigned when nine players quit in the middle of the season.

A Rigby grad and collegiate player at BYU and Alaska-Anchorage, Shippen emphasized he is grateful for the opportunity to be part of the Skyline community.

"The main thing I will remember about Ty is he worked extremely hard at getting young kids to play the game and get them into the gym," District 91 athletic coordinator Kerry Martin said.

Moser leaves the Grizzlies after three years as the head coach and one year as an assistant. Skyline posted a 41-29 record in Moser's three years as the head coach, including a 17-7 record this season, the most wins for Skyline's girls basketball program since the 2003-04 season.

"My heart is pretty heavy today because I told my girls," Moser said Friday. "That just ripped my heart out. But I just have to do it. For the first time in a long time, I'm doing what's best for me and my family and not someone else."

Moser, a 36-year-old special education and math teacher at Skyline, accepted a special education teaching position at Sheridan High School. She said the move will earn her about $22,000 more a year, making it too hard to turn down.

"Retirement is obviously big too," Moser said. "They put 18 percent into my retirement. With the stuff they can do, I'm young and I have a little kid. It's time to get out before I'm stuck. And it doesn't look like District 91 is going up."

She said Sheridan has offered her the head girls basketball coaching job. But she is still weighing if she will accept it.

Martin said that while she is leaving, Moser's impact with Skyline's girls basketball program will remain.

"She just had a real competitive desire and I think she's left that competitive desire with the girls at Skyline," Martin said.