By Ashley Nelson, For the Reporter
Aly (Carr) Lacey and Cait Carr grew up playing sports and watching their parents give back to the community through coaching. Now they coach against each other.
The sisters are continuing the family commitment to their community after coaching girls basketball for the
“We played everything,” Carr said about their student-athlete days at Auburn Mountainview. “But I think basketball definitely stuck, obviously, just because we grew up around it and watching it. I think we always kind of knew that we would come back to basketball. I think we always knew we would be coaches.”
The two have been close all their lives, even attending Eastern Washington University in Cheney together.
“I mean, we’re 18 months apart, and we were always in school together, and we went to college together and lived together,” Lacey said. “And so probably the hardest year for us was your [Cait’s] freshman year of college — my senior year — because that was the first time we were ever apart.”
Now they are back where they grew up. In addition to coaching, Carr is the dean of students at Auburn Mountainview and Lacey is a social studies teacher at Kentlake.
Their passion for coaching was fueled largely by their parents, who were and are active in the local athletic and coaching community. Chris Carr, the sister’s father, coached the girl’s basketball team at Auburn Mountainview for eight years, where he also coached his two daughters. The team made it to state in 2011.
Before that, Chris Carr coached at White River High School, Yelm High School and Kentlake. All the while, his two daughters were around that sports environment. They attended team dinners, practices and games, and they looked up to his players.
“When they were little they were running around the halls of Kentlake like they owned that place,” Chris Carr said.
Nowadays, Chris Carr is Cait Carr’s assistant coach at Auburn Mountainview.
“I love it,” Chris Carr said of the new position. “She’s good. It’s amazing how similar we are. Today in practice, we both yelled the same thing at the same time. She looked at me and I looked at her and I said, `Go ahead, coach.’”
The girl’s mother, Marla Carr, also has extensive coaching experience. She coached volleyball at Green River Community College from 1997 to 2003 and played volleyball at Eastern Washington University.
Cait Carr and Lacey were quick to highlight how much their mother meant to them, praising her for wearing many hats and balancing having a husband that was a coach, and two daughters that were players.
“Behind the scenes, she’s what makes our world go round,” Lacey said.
The sisters also spoke about how grateful they were for their parents’ support in such a male-dominated field as coaching.
“I don’t care if you’re a woman in a male industry, you fight for the same things that they get,” Chris Carr said.
Marla Carr considers the family to be a team of its own because of how they support each other and are always open with one another.
“We’ve always just taught the girls to do the right thing, to stand up and work hard and fight for things that are right,” Marla Carr said.
The first time the sisters’ teams played against each other this season was a full-circle moment. Many Kentlake alumni and old players were in attendance, which was special for the whole family.
“My mom told me before the game, you need to enjoy the moment,” Cait Carr said. “Who knows when this will ever happen again? Like dad being your assistant coach and then playing at Kentlake, where my dad spent so many years coaching there — and playing against Aly and having our friends and family in the stands. You just need to take a moment and just appreciate it and enjoy it and have fun.”
While their love of sports and basketball is a factor in their lives, the sisters real passion for coaching stems from the community their family has built from years of involvement in sports.
“Just them [Marla and Chris Carr] building those relationships through teaching and coaching — really Aly and I wanted that for ourselves,” Cait Carr said. “We wanted to continue to be educators and coaches and to help the younger generations and be around our kids and have old graduates come back and alumni come back. I think it was always kind of what we were meant to do.”