EUGENE – Macy Youngbauer took over as head coach of the Thurston Colts girls basketball on Jan. 5 after Steve Eastburn stepped down due to personal reasons.
Youngbauer played for Thurston from 2013-17, was an assistant coach for JV from 2019-21, and became the main varsity assistant last year. Now she takes over in the middle of the season with Thurston sitting at 7-7 and in the playoff hunt.
“I really just want to grow off of what coach Eastburn built here, and really continue with a lot of things that he did,” Youngbauer said. “So really trying to keep things, for the most part, the same, so that it’s not too much of a change for the kids.”
Youngbauer’s first game as head coach was a 47-45 win over Ashland two days after she found out about the coaching change. Then last week the Colts beat Churchill 53-45 before falling at Class 4A No. 10 Marist Catholic 56-46.
“I was proud of their fight. They fought till the very last minute. They did what I told them to do even when I think maybe they didn’t really understand it, so I really appreciated that,” Youngbauer said after the Marist loss. “I told them things don’t always go your way. Some of the foul calls didn’t go our way, and that’s okay. Just like last week, things didn’t go our way, but we’ll get better tomorrow.”
Leaders for Thurston in the win over Ashland were freshman Addison Nelson with 27 points and junior Bailey Tovey with 17 points and 14 rebounds. In the loss to Marist, Tovey had 20 points and 11 rebounds.
While Youngbauer knows the system and the athletes, she’s keeping her goals simple.
“I want these seniors to have a good, fun year. Everyone really, but especially those seniors, they deserve it,” she said. “And then we’d like to see what we can do in this league. It’s a really competitive league. We’ve got some tough opponents coming up, but really just trying to take it one day at a time, get better every single day, and see what we can do there at the end of the season as far as playoffs go.”