In the wake of a historic season leading the Frisco Memorial softball team, it would have taken someplace special to pry head coach Porscha Albert away from the Lady Warriors’ dugout.
Lewisville just happens to be that place.
A city and high school with strong roots within Albert’s family, the coach lettered four years on Lewisville’s softball team — playing catcher, shortstop and third base — and was a three-time all-district selection. Once Albert pursued high school coaching, it was at her alma mater where she landed her first job as an assistant in 2012. Albert will be back in maroon and white next season, only now as the Lady Farmers’ head coach.
“Right now, it’s a little surreal. When they made the announcement, it was pretty overwhelming with all the love and support and people reaching out. I never imagined anything even close to what happened,” Albert said.
Albert’s return to Lewisville marks her second head coaching stop, spending the past three seasons leading an upstart Memorial program. That culminated this spring with a district championship in the talent-rich all-Frisco district, 9-5A, followed by a trip to the regional quarterfinals as part of the program’s first-ever playoff run.
“I was happy where I was and had no reason to leave there,” Albert said. “We were coming off a historic year with a district championship and a good showing in the playoffs. I was pretty content, but then Lewisville reached out and asked me if I’d be interested in applying. I said, ‘No problem, I always want to hear what my hometown has to say.’
“The more we got to talking, it got me thinking that this is where I needed to be.”
Born and raised in Lewisville, Albert’s four years on campus as a student-athlete preceded six seasons as an assistant with the Lady Farmers’ softball team under her predecessor, Lori Alexander, from 2012-18. Lewisville enjoyed the most successful stretch in program history over that period, winning a Class 5A state championship in 2013 and posting a state runner-up finish in 2015. Albert credited that chapter of her career with shaping her vision at Memorial.
“I learned about patience and learning how to get kids to work beyond what they think they’re capable of and how to build relationships with them,” Albert said. “I still keep in touch with kids I coached on the volleyball and softball side, and getting to know them is the most rewarding part of the job.
“I learned how to juggle all the different roles that a coach plays. I took that to Memorial and I think it worked well. I feel bad that I won’t be able to be the coach at Memorial anymore, but I’m absolutely stoked for the opportunity to come home and see what we can do here.”
She plans to adopt a similar approach as she settles into her new job.
“My No. 1 coaching philosophy is relationships and building them with my kids,” Albert said. “I want to get to know who they are, what their interests are, what makes them laugh, what makes them think, what puts them off. I think once you get to know all that, then you can really start coaching the athletes. There’s a fine line because you want to be friendly with them while still establishing the dynamic where I’m the coach and they’re the athletes.”
Albert said she’ll be starting with a clean slate — the last group of student-athletes she coached from her initial tenure at Lewisville graduated this year. She inherits a team that went 11-15 last season and finished in sixth place in District 6-6A at 4-10. The Lady Farmers graduated two players who received all-district honors (Riley Haney, Maddie Brooks) and are projected to return four next season (Rylee Brice, Jadyn Grandison, Rikki Murray and 6-6A freshman of the year Paislie Allen).
“I want to get with the seniors, sit them down and talk with them about what their hopes are for their last seasons and what they want to accomplish, plus what they’d like to see from me,” Albert said.
Given her ties to the program, Albert has a healthy respect for the Lady Farmers’ tradition on the softball diamond. That includes her predecessor — coincidentally enough, Alexander’s first season as Lewisville’s head coach came following Albert’s last year of high school. Alexander held that post for 17 years and guided the Lady Farmers to prominence. Albert hopes to pick up where Alexander left off.
“For the last 17 years, that’s all Lewisville softball has known. It’s a changing of the guard,” Albert said. “I want to come in, build relationships and make my mark on the program, and I want to do so in a way that doesn’t erase anything that came before. We want to build on the legacy here.”