McAuley Catholic alum returns as teacher and coach

JOPLIN, Mo. ­– Joplin Area Catholic Schools welcome back 2000 graduate Tony Witt. He will serve as the St. Peter’s Middle School’s science teacher and head boys’ basketball coach for McAuley Catholic High School during the 2020-2021 school year.

“Coach Witt brings the knowledge, experience and leadership that it takes to be successful both in the classroom and on the court,” said Dr. Emily Yoakam, principal at St. Peter’s Middle School and McAuley Catholic High School. “We are thrilled to not only hire someone of his caliber and credentials but also to welcome this Warrior back home.”

Witt holds a Bachelor of Science in chemistry and a Master of Science in education from Missouri State University.

Witt currently serves as the assistant girls’ basketball coach and the high school chemistry and physical science teacher at Joplin High School. He has held both positions since 2018. Prior to teaching and coaching at JHS, he held the positions of chemistry teacher, head golf coach and assistant varsity boys’ coach for Diamond R-IV.

“Tony brings 13 years of experience as an assistant coach from three different programs,” said McAuley Catholic’s Athletic Director Mike Howard. “I couldn’t think of a better place to start his head coaching journey than right here at his alma mater!”

Witt has a passion for athletics and is part of McAuley Catholic’s 1,000-point club for basketball with 1,046 points during his four years at McAuley. During his junior year of high school, he was named 1st team all-conference, 1st team all-district and 3rd team all-area. As a senior at McAuley he was named 1st team all-district, 1st team-all area, conference player of the year and 2nd team all-state. He played one year of collegiate ball before breaking his foot.

“To get the chance to return to a place that had an incredible impact on my life is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Witt. “I consider it an honor and a privilege to teach and coach in the same hallways where I was once a student and a player. I want to thank Dr. Yoakam and Coach Howard for believing in me, and whether they know it or not, they are turning this kid’s dream into reality.”

About Joplin Area Catholic Schools

Founded in 1885 by Sister Catherine McAuley’s Sisters of Mercy the Joplin Area Catholic Schools serves the greater Joplin community to educate Catholic and Non-Catholic children from Early Learners at age 2 through grade 12. JACSS’ goal is to teach young people to integrate Christian values into all aspects of life. The system endeavors to graduate young adults who are effective witnesses to the presence of Christ in the world. Visit www.JACSS.org for more information about the schools.