Brandon Ybarra journeys to unfamiliar territory to become new Plainview softball coach

Beau Bearden
The Daily Ardmoreite
Brandon Ybarra is entering his first year as head coach of the Plainview High School softball team. Ybarra spent the 2020 season as assistant head softball coach at Skiatook High School in Tulsa.

Brandon Ybarra is no stranger to coaching in Oklahoma, with stops at Cache, Altus and Skiatook. However, there was one area he wasn’t familiar with — the southern part of the state.

That unknown could have stopped Ybarra, but a higher power helped guide him to becoming the new head coach of the Plainview High School softball team.

“Honestly, I think it was God talking to be,” Ybarra said of why he took the job. “It was a great opportunity. I’ve forever been a baseball coach. I was a former head baseball coach and then softball came talking to me. I said, ‘God’s telling me something, so I’m going to take this chance and we’ll see if we can do it.’ So far, it’s been a great experience. I’ve loved it so far.

“Being in Tulsa and coaching softball over there, I fell in love with it,” Ybarra continued. “It’s time to take a new step here.”

Ybarra was most recently the assistant head softball coach at Skiatook High School in Tulsa, but now he takes the reins of a Lady Indians squad that went 23-12 in 2020.

That successful campaign puts Ybarra in a good spot, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be a few changes this season.

“With me coming in, there’s a new offense, new defense, new coaching styles and also my assistant coach,” Ybarra said. “There’s going to be a lot of new things coming their way, but they’ve handled it so far. I’m really happy with the way they’ve done that so far. They’ve bought in so far, but it’s baby steps right now.”

Those small steps will soon become bigger leaps in the right direction, but the Lady Indians aren’t looking that far ahead just yet. The same can be said of Ybarra, who is taking it one day at a time, but also leaning on previous experiences that led him to where he is today.

“The past molds everybody and my past really has,” Ybarra said. “I’ve been able to coach with a bunch of great coaches. Even my coaching style uses some things that I’ve learned in the past from other coaches. I’ve also been a part of football, baseball and basketball. I’ve taken something from everything and made it mine. Definitely everything from the past, you're seeing it all right here at Plainview.”