Before Lyndsey Talbot was a Roadrunner, she was a cowboy.
Tablot, recently named head coach of the upcoming State Fair Community College softball team, attended Oklahoma State and is an avid Dallas Cowboys fan. She is from Missouri, but Talbot graduated high school at Lakewood Christian School in McAlester, Oklahoma.
Along with a love for cowboys, Talbot said she solidified another conviction in Oklahoma.
“I always knew I wanted to coach,” Talbot said.
Her contract at SFCC becomes effective July 1, but Talbot’s first taste of coaching came at Central Methodist University, where she is currently an assistant coach.
After an injury forced her out of the Lady Eagles lineup in 2011, she stayed in the dugout as an assistant coach.
That love of coaching – and sports – spawned from her father.
“My dad is a huge sports fan,” Talbot said. “He’s always instilled that in me. He’s always watched women’s sports with me.”
Talbot said her father’s emphasis on enjoying women’s sports were also influential.
“He always had an appreciation for women’s sports,” Talbot said. “You have to appreciate it. Women’s sports are different from men sports, it’s a different game. I was lucky enough to be raised in that atmosphere. We always went to women’s events. The mecca of softball is Oklahoma City, and my dad lives 15 minutes from the (ASA Hall of Fame) stadium.”
Central Methodist University has won more than 40 games in three of the last four seasons. Bringing that winning tradition to State Fair, a school that never had a softball program, is a challenge Talbot embraces.
“It definitely keeps me up at night,” Talbot said about preparing for the inaugural season. “It’s good. It’s exciting.”
She also said State Fair gave the same friendly impression CMU has in Fayette.
“I love Central Methodist, or I wouldn’t have come back,” Talbot said. “It has a family atmosphere, and one of the things I liked about State Fair is that it had the same feel.’
State Fair Athletic Director Darren Pannier said Talbot’s vision and knowledge of softball put her above the rest of the position’s applicants.
Pannier also said Talbot knows what a winning environment looks like.
“She played on one of the top nationally ranked teams at Central Methodist,” Pannier said. “She knows the cream of the crop of the softball players in our area. She has a good recruiting base already … She’s articulate. She just comes from a great program. Being a player from that program as well as a coach, it gets into your system. I totally believe she’s going to bring that system and philosophy here.
“She’s leading off, too.”
Talbot said she can coach everything but pitching, and plans on having an assistant for pitchers and catchers by the inaugural season.
But starting a program from scratch will be more is more than simply coaching. Talbot said with support from the college, she’s even more comfortable with the position.
“I like challenges,” Talbot said. “(SFCC administrators) all seemed positive and really behind the sport. And administration support is huge, especially for a new program … There’s a reason I’m coaching college. I love working with that group of kids. I think it ended up being a perfect fit for my first head coaching job.”
State Fair softball is an unmapped frontier, and the Roadrunners may have just hired their Annie Oakley.
Roadrunner softball is hosting an open workout Feb 21. at Kindle Baseball Academy in Sedalia. It is scheduled for 2 p.m.
Alex Agueros can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @abagueros2