Booker returns to lead Lady Cat programs
Michelle Booker is back in Pilot Point ISD, and she’s excited to fill her new role as the girls’ athletic coordinator.
Booker, who was part of the softball and basketball coaching staffs from 2015-2018, wants to build on the strengths her athletes already possess while helping them grow in other ways, she said.
“They’re obviously doing something right to be as successful as they are,” Booker said about the girls’ teams, especially softball. “So, again, you don’t want to take that away from them if it’s working, but just be able to contribute in other places, maybe, where we may be lacking in some areas, whether it be confidence or finding what we’re missing and getting in there and figuring that out.”
While she worked in Sanger ISD in the interim, she served as head coach for the softball program, where she replaced Jae McMinn, who had been in Sanger for 14 years. Her return to PPISD follows James Ramsey’s resignation after 14 years as the Lady Cats softball coach; Ramsey was also the girls’ coordinator.
She said her new role at Pilot Point “a unicorn position … for it to be attached to softball.”
“Sometimes that opportunity to move up the ladder is not as common on the girls’ side,” Booker said. “And, a lot of times, it’s connected with the girls’ basketball.”
Being the head coach of the volleyball team adds another layer of newness and challenges for Booker. Although she played it herself, has been an assistant coach and has experienced having her own daughter play, this is the first time Booker is acting as head volleyball
She plans to draw on her previous experiences and to work closely with her assistant coaches and the girls’ themselves, many of whom “play year-round,” Booker said.
“Sometimes, if you’re openminded, you can learn a lot from your kids, just like in the classroom,” said the business information management teacher. “Sometimes with technology and things, your kids can teach you more than you can teach them with some of that stuff. You’ve just got to be openminded and not be too proud to hear what they’re saying and take it with a grain of salt.”
That comes from her desire to lead while giving the girls’ and their families a chance to feel involved in the program “to kind of let everybody have a role,” while maintaining a balance, Booker said.
“If you let them know their role going into things, then sometimes things are going to run a little smoother,” she said.
Booker’s own daughter, Kyla Binnion, is stepping into the coaching arena this school year, Booker said, as an assistant softball coach in Royce City.
“I think it’s in her blood,” she said.
Pilot Point ISD Superintendent Todd Southard described Booker as “very professional, very positive.”
“Kids love her, parents love her,” he said. “This is absolutely the best hire we could have made for this position, and I’m excited to see what’s going to happen.”
Having a separate girls’ coordinator, Southard said, helps the Athletic Director Danny David focus on football in the fall while making sure that the girls’ programs get the attention they need and deserve.
“When you’ve got someone like Booker out there who wants to come here and wants to be a coordinator, you just do it,” he said. “There’s no doubt in our minds, when that position came open, that’s who we want.”
Booker’s happy to return to the district.
“There’s something about Pilot Point that called me back,” Booker said. “I believe God has a plan for everybody, and for whatever the reason is, I believe that this is his plan.”