Ensign landed a new job as the Ballard High School athletic director over the summer and ultimately tired of the balancing act between the two responsibilities. "Due to the demands of my new job, I don't believe I can dedicate the time necessary to help fully develop our players athletically and socially. I am unable to put the time in that our players need and deserve," said Ensign. He acknowledged the situation would be challenging this year but recently realized it was not only affecting the program, but himself personally. His intention was to stay on for all of the girls he recruited.
The women's basketball program had struggled for many years, but Ensign spearheaded the effort to change that. Coming off a winless season in 2016-17, Ensign led the Tritons to five wins last year, the most since the 2012-13 campaign. Edmonds' seven wins this year have already matched the win total in that 2012-13 season. Additionally, the team GPA last year was the highest of any women's hoops squad over the past seven years. There are also noticeable changes on the roster, not only with the quality of players, but the number of student-athletes on the team. Edmonds has tremendous depth with 17 players in the program currently.
"Eric spent an enormous amount of time and energy the past two years recruiting. I believe he has laid the foundation for the women's basketball program to be competitive year in and year out moving forward, and for that I am extremely grateful," said athletic director Spencer Stark. "Coaching at our level already presents challenges, but having to build from ground zero takes an entirely different amount of commitment. He raised expectations."
When asked about stepping into her new role she said, "Never fear the unexpected but always be prepared." Thompson is confident in her abilities and wants to create a program where students learn the value of discipline and accountability. She will lean on her experience as a Division I student-athlete and try and replicate that as much as possible in the community college setting. "I want to help these girls grow into young women," she added.
Heading into Wednesday's home tilt with Bellevue, the Tritons are 7-5 overall and have a 2-2 mark in the NWAC North Region. They find themselves right in the hunt for playoff contention -- something the program has not experienced since 2010.
"I believe Kirsten will bring consistency, structure, and strong organization skills to the table. She is a good communicator. Her most important task won't be to win basketball games; it will be to support the team and create a positive student-athlete experience," said Stark.