Jodi Satterwhite never had a plan B. She just stuck with plan A and ran with it, quite literally.
Marshall’s girls athletic director and head track coach grew up in Karnack, where coaches had an impact on her life and she wanted to have a positive impact for student athletes.
“I guess I enjoyed it so much in high school, I just didn’t see myself doing anything else,” Satterwhite said. “My coaches made such a huge difference in my life, and I don’t know if I do it or not, but I guess I just wanted to make that difference in somebody else’s life. Those were my father figures. I had male coaches, but that was the role they played with me. I had a grandfather but it was nice to have someone a little closer in age to me. I never saw myself doing anything else. There was never a, ‘Well, I might look into this.’ There was never any choice.”
After high school, Satterwhite went to college, where she studied kinesiology and health.
“LSUS,” she said when asked where she attended college. “I played basketball for I guess two years of that. I went to Kilgore first.”
The native East Texan arrived in Marshall in 2000, and there’s not much she hasn’t coached.
“When I started, I was actually the assistant volleyball and the assistant basketball coach,” she recalls. “I think after the first year, I became head track coach. The year before last, I became the girls’ coordinator. I’ve been head track, head swimming, assistant volleyball, assistant cross country, assistant basketball so I’ve done just about all of it.”
Satterwhite said there are many things she finds rewarding about coaching.
“Seeing kids become successful people,” she said when asked what her favorite part of coaching is. “It’s not about how successful we are and what we accomplish out here on the field. If they can come through any of our programs and be successful people, then I think we’ve done our job. If they can work with people, being on a team, you have to work with people from all kinds of walks of life. It’s not just me. We have done a good job if they get out of our program and go do that. It makes me feel like we did our job, that we did what we needed to do in order to make them successful.”
She added there are many valuable life lessons to be learned from sports.
“There are trials and tribulations and things you experience as an athlete in every sport, and if you can overcome those, then I that translates to life, life lessons,” she said. “We are very fortunate right now to have some very good coaches on our staff. They make my job easy because they do their jobs and right now we have some continuity across the board because they know if they leave my sport and go to volleyball or they come from volleyball, they’re going to get the same from me as they got from the other coaches.”
Over the years of coaching, specifically track, Satterwhite said every year provides its own unique memories.
“They’re all special,” she said. “There’s something every year that stands out, whether it’s these kids starting out not being very good to competing or kids who were fairly decent excelling at regionals.”
Sports have provided Satterwhite with many memorable sports moments, and she enjoys helping others experience similar achievements, whether it’s on the field, track or court, or off it.