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Meet Coachy: Assistant Athletic Director & PE Teacher

There is more that goes into coaching than most people imagine. At times, it can be a hard and thankless job. But at GAC, coaches don’t have to do it alone. GAC Assistant Athletic Director, veteran coach, and P.E. teacher of 38 years Ms. Kristy Shelton is a lifeline for the female coaches on campus. “When I first came to GAC in 1982, there were no female coaches. When I started my coaching career in 1983, I was the only one. But at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year, I got the female coaches together for a meeting, and it felt so amazing to be in that room with 26 other women who coach on our campus!” These women have found community together, bonding over their passion for building strong teams and raising godly young women. When they meet, they share ideas of things they can do with their teams to grow them athletically and spiritually.

Ms. Shelton (or “Coachy” as she is affectionately called by her students) believes in her coaches and in the critical role they play. “Our girls need healthy, godly female role models. Sports provide so much for girls in the way of building confidence and resilience in life. To have a strong coach as a positive role model is irreplaceable.” Because of their years of expertise, coaches like Ms. Shelton are able to lead their athletes to victory, both on and off the field. For Ms. Shelton, this has meant winning five state championships over the years that she’s coached. But there’s more. Says Ms. Shelton: “I also believe that our female coaches model what it looks like to be a woman of God. We’re teaching our girls to pray and be spiritual leaders. That’s a unique opportunity our girls might not get anywhere else. I know for a fact that every one of our female coaches has as their top priority to lead their girls to Christ first.”

While she no longer has a team to coach, Ms. Shelton has a new role: serving and motivating the women on the front lines. “I feel humbled in many ways to have this opportunity. Now that I’m retired from coaching myself, I’m excited to mentor these young coaches as they pour into our female athletes. I’m so proud of each one of them and hope that I can serve them in a way that will make their job a little easier.”

Head softball coach Jessica Crawford '08 was first mentored by Ms. Shelton while a GAC student. “She was a great spiritual mentor to me and was a significant part of my decision to give my life to Christ. Now, with her new role in the athletic department as a mentor to female coaches, I have the opportunity to work alongside her every day to navigate the world of molding young women into our next generation of leaders. She has been someone who I trust and can go to for guidance both athletically, and spiritually. Kristy’s support this season of all of the female sports and coaches has been unparalleled, and we are extremely blessed to have her as part of our administration.”