Former Softball Standout Takes Over Coaching Reigns at Lansing High School

Sept. 8, 2010


Former University of Kansas softball standout, Val Chapple, will be the new head softball coach at Lansing High School in Lansing, Kan, beginning in the 2010-11 academic year. Aside from coaching softball, Chapple will also be teaching sophomore physical science and senior physics.

Chapple graduated from KU’s teaching program in just three and a half years. What makes that impressive is that it is supposed to take five years to complete the teaching program.

As a former third baseman for the Kansas Jayhawks, Chapple is no stranger to the field or the classroom. While attending KU, Chapple was a two-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team selection, an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Second Team member in 2008 and 2009 and twice named team MVP. In her junior season, she was named the USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Week. Chapple was also a standout player in high school earning the National High School Coaches Association Softball Player of the Year and Kansas’ Gatorade Player of the Year in 2005.

Chapple takes on her role as teacher and coach just two years removed from KU. The Overland Park native said she is excited and ready to face this new challenge head on. “I have high expectations for myself. I want to bring the kind of camaraderie I had on the softball team at KU, here to Lansing,” Chapple said.

Chapple has high hopes for herself and her team. Along with high expectations comes excitement and nervousness, both of which Chapple is experiencing right now. “I’m excited, nervous and ready to get to know the girls,” Chapple said.

This is new territory for Chapple and with that comes adjustments. “The most challenging aspect is adjusting to this new environment and trying to manage the team. Getting to know the girls on a personal level is also one of my biggest challenges that I’m looking forward to,” Chapple said.

Chapple hopes to lead her team to a state championship. Two years ago Lansing finished third at state. Winning isn’t new for the Lansing softball program or for Chapple, who, while playing for Olathe East, led her team to two state titles. As a freshman for KU, Chapple was a member of a Big 12 Championship team, which she said was her favorite memory while at KU.

In theory, this newly-founded relationship has the makings of producing big things for a softball program that is used to winning and for a first-year head coach that has had winning engrained in her since she was in high school.

“This was just an amazing opportunity to come here and be able to teach science, as well to get to coach softball. Everyone is very supportive here, and they’ve said nothing but — nothing but — great things about these kids. And so I’m really excited to work with, not only my students, but in particular the softball girls. They’re ready and they’re willing, and it’s really exciting to come into that,” Chapple said.