Purdy brings back 'Coach V' for softball opening
Videmscheck's goal is to lead Lady Eagles to a state title
The Purdy School district did not waste any time and did not have to look very hard or far to find a willing candidate to fill the coaching void left after the departure of Stephanie Ray.
School officials said the hire of Lori Videmscheck for the Lady Eagles was a no-brainer in terms of convenience, experience and excitement.
Videmscheck, known to her players and fans as "Coach V" due to the difficulty people have pronouncing her last name, spent the last nine seasons on the staff at Crowder College in Neosho and last the six seasons as the head coach.
During her time at Crowder, Videmscheck helped build a strong program -- first as a player from 1985-86 where she helped guide then-coach Annie Westfall's 1986 team to a national championship. She later returned as a coach when the program was re-implemented in 2004 as an assistant under then-coach Brandi Arthur. In 2008, Videmscheck was elevated to head coach, and the program exploded. She amassed over 200 wins and finished last season 38-18.
Prior to her stint at Crowder, Videmscheck was the skipper at Purdy and led the Lady Eagles softball team to back-to-back final four appearances in 2003 and 2004 finishing second and fourth in each of those respective seasons.
Videmscheck made the decision to step down at Crowder to spend more time with her family. Her son, Dusty, is a sophomore at Purdy and a two-sport athlete, playing basketball and baseball.
"When I stepped down at Crowder, I had no intention of coaching anywhere else," Videmscheck said. "I wanted to spend time with my family and watch my son play ball."
Videmscheck said when Lady Eagles coach Stephanie Ray stepped down, she was contacted by Purdy Athletic Director Jennifer Cornelius to gauge her interest in the position.
"I love the game of softball -- everything about it," Videmscheck said. "I felt like I could make a difference."
Due to the nature of her job at Crowder, Videmscheck, through scouting and recruiting, is already familiar, not just with the Lady Eagles, but the area teams.
Under Ray, the Lady Eagles reached three of the last four district championships and returns eight starters and a talented incoming freshman class.
"Coach Ray did a great job with these girls," Videmscheck said. "I watched them compete at the Crowder Tournament and even recruited Carleigh Hall [who signed earlier this year with Crowder]. My goal is to get them back to the state tourney and win a title."
Videmscheck plans to implement a summer weightlifting program and compete in the Carthage Summer League.
"I am excited for this opportunity, and I think we have a chance to be really successful," Videmscheck said.
Another benefit for Purdy, Videmscheck will be a non-teaching employee.
"By hiring Lori, we didn't have to wait for a specific teaching position to become available," said Steven Chancellor, Purdy superintendent. "We can instead focus on hiring and developing a quality educator in the classroom."
Chancellor said Videmscheck's contract will run concurrent with the Missouri State High School Activities Association softball season guidelines. She will receive a stipend of $4,000, which is $500 more than any stipend currently paid to any Purdy coach and double the current stipend of head softball coach position.