In Their Own Words: Stephanie Baugh

Aug. 11, 2008

Once again during the 2008 season, members of the Kansas soccer team will share their thoughts in the first person. Today, senior goalkeeper Stephanie Baugh provides her insights on what brought her to KU as the team prepares for the upcoming season:

On what brought her to Kansas from West Virginia:

“I loved my teammates, and some people might be surprised to know this, but I loved my coach at West Virginia. It just wasn’t fulfilling enough and it was too far away from home for me. I wanted to get to the end of my collegiate career and be able say it was worth all the time, energy and effort. It’s not worth it if you’re going to do all of that hard work and get to the end of it and just say, ‘Okay, I played soccer for four years’. I loved the program (at West Virginia), but I just needed to go home, and I’m really happy that I did.”

On the process of joining the Jayhawks:

“When I came home, I came home to work. I had a job with the (Kansas City) Wizards and my high school coach (Matthew Pritchett) called me one day and said ‘Steph, I don’t want you to not play this year’. I kind of brushed it off and said ‘If my time is up, my time is up.’ But he told me to look into KU, and at least give it a shot.”

“So I sent Coach Francis an email (in June) and just asked about the status of his program and asked if he could use another goalkeeper. And he wrote me back, and it was like, ‘alright, I have to go for it now.’ It was really hectic, because we were two months away from the start of the season, but everything ended up working out and here I am.”

On dealing with the end of her athletic career:

“One thing my mom has always taught me is that God has a plan for you. So anything that happens to you is not a surprise to Him, even if it might be a surprise to you. I had actually quit the team at West Virginia after my second year there. So I thought I was done. But then when I decided to move back to Kansas and Coach Francis sent me that email, the door was opened again.”

On her relationship with her mom:

“When I moved to West Virginia, I relied on my mom so much. She was my best friend. If I’m in trouble or having a bad day, no matter what the situation, I could call her and talk to her about it. There is no person my age that I connect with as well as my mom. There are times when I can ask for advice and then there are other times when I can say ‘Mom, I don’t need you to be Mom right now, I just need you to listen, because I need somebody to talk to.’ I don’t know where I would be if I didn’t have her.”

On how she got involved in athletics:

“It’s hard to say. My mom will be the first one to tell you that she wasn’t an athlete. My whole family is very smart. My mom was the valedictorian of her class, my father was of his class, and my brother is really a smart guy. And then Stephanie can play sports. I’m not quite at the genius level of the rest of my family. It’s alright; none of them can kick a ball.”

“I think I initially got into sports just because I liked to play so much. My mom really didn’t tie us (my brother and I) down to just one sport, so I did just about everything. I also grew up just down the block from Deron Cherry (former Kansas City Chief) and so I played just about everything with “Little D” from football to basketball to baseball. I think part of it was also to get my father’s attention. He was an attorney, so growing up, he wasn’t around a lot. But when he was we’d go out and throw the ball around or something like that.”

“As I got older, and I got better, I became a little more focused on soccer.”

On what she wants to do after she graduates this spring:

“I want to stay in sports in some way. My main goal is to get a lot of different experience. I’ve done event planning and sales, and also worked with kids at different camps and with the (Kansas City) Wizards. I just want to do as much as I can so that when I’m done, I know exactly what I want to do.”

“I’ve actually met quite a few sports agents too. One of them was the agent for (WNBA players) Candace Williams and Sylvia Fowles. I’ve met Sheryl Swoops’ agent and one of my mentors (Ray Pond) was the point-person for Nike with the WNBA. There are just so many people and so many opportunities that it’s hard to narrow it down to one thing at this point. I just need more of a background to say ‘I want to start here’.”

On what she does in her free time:

“I like to cook. I can make about anything from a recipe, but I’m a big meat person, and I like to add my own ingredients. If I had a whole day to plan whatever I wanted to, I’d probably smoke some ribs and probably have potato salad. If I was trying to be healthy, I’d cook up some greens. And of course, we’d have to have dessert. That would be a dream day for me.”

“I’m not really good at decreasing my recipes for just one, so whenever I have a major cooking day I have to call up Mom and call up everybody, and I still have about five days’ worth of leftovers.”