Edmond Santa Fe Lady Wolves are headed to State for the 11th straight time since 2008 under the leadership of head coach Paul Bass. Paul Bass an Edmond native and a University of Central Oklahoma graduate has been coaching for Edmond Santa Fe for 18 years as head coach. When you see coach Bass on the sidelines you see his favorite stool and he always has his game plan on a piece of paper in his hand. As he paces up and down the sideline giving instruction to his players, there’s something about his play calling and the things that he does that allows him to continue his streak.”We started off the season looking like a state championship team and then we hit a rough patch,” assistant Coach Rachel Shadid says. “We had players get hurt, sick, and we weren’t jelling the best as a unit… It’s a long season and getting the girls to understand taking care of their bodies is important.” The strategy must have worked, something clicked amongst the players and the streak is still alive, winning some tough games down the stretch. The coaches put a strong emphasis on doing the little things and not giving up.
This has been a memorable season for Coach Paul Bass with the overall record of 20-8 and still counting, 7-4 in district and ranked 14th in the state. Paul says, "its very rare with that record you go into state as area champs, I don't know of any team that has ever done that. Usually with our record you're going in as the last team to get in."
Paul has a young coaching staff with Peyton Jones, Rachel Shadid and Haylee Frazier. Peyton Jones and Rachel Shadid are former players for bass, Shadid has earned one State title under coach Paul Bass and she is in her second season coaching at her Alma mater. Assistant Coach Rachel Shadid playing a big role as Paul's assistant has this to say, "So much goes into coaching... in a way its like playing, you have to be on your game day in and day out." Rachel has been in the position as a athlete and says she understands the pressure now as a coach as opposed to being a player. Rachel is greatful for Paul, "he has taught me so much as a player and as a coach." Not only has he been a great coach, he has and is molding his former players into some good coaches as well. Paul has had all types of coaches which several has gone on to other schools as head coaches. "As a head coach you continue to find good ones that is willing to work hard and get better, I am confident with this group and believes they are hungry," Paul says.
Paul was faced with one of his most difficult challenges in his first round match-ups this year against his daughter Katie Bass, head coach at Midwest City High School. Katie a former player and assistant coach at Edmond Santa Fe has been a big part in her dad’s success before taking on the head coaching job at Midwest City and winning state her 1st year as the head coach. Katie has been coaching for 10 years now, “I was my dad’s assistant for 3 of the 11 state appearances”, Katie says. When asked how was it coaching against her dad in the first round of the playoffs, she was ready but knew it was going to be a difficult and challenging game, “Coaching against my dad is the hardest thing for me emotionally because neither one of us wanted to beat the other out." Katie and Paul usually rooting each other on to beat others, was faced with competing against each other while respecting each other. “It was a special moment”, Katie comments. “I am who I am because of him. Watching him lead his teams each year to state is something I look up to so much. Not sure of any other program in the state, men’s or women’s, has achieved 11 straight state appearances. He is the "GOAT" in the state of Oklahoma and I love him!”
Santa Fe looks to keep winning until there is no more games left to win. "Gold ball chasing" has been the chant for most of the teams this year via tweets and snaps. Some of the Santa Fe girls have been posting, We are not done yet”.
Not sure of the most consecutive High School State appearances in Oklahoma, but 11 straight is an remarkable achievement. When you talk about hall of fame coaches, Bass may be one to talk about. Some will say he has been blessed with talent each year but when you have so much talent on one team you also have the challenges of managing them all and teaching them how to play with one basketball collectively as a team. In today’s era that is a difficult task and he has managed to accomplish this each year.