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COrelChristine Orel

Chris enrolled at Baker in the fall of 1978 and became an immediate starter on both the softball and basketball squads. During her Baker career she earned a total of eight letters in the two sports. During her four years of competition the basketball squad won four consecutive Heart of America Conference Championships with a total of 80 wins against only 37 losses.

During her career she was selected for first-team all-conference honors on two occasions and as a senior led the team in assists and in scoring with a 16.7 points per game average, having scored in double figures in 26 of 29 games. In 1980 the team was the AIAW Kansas state champions, runner-up the next year and champion again her senior campaign. Additionally she was selected as a member of the state all-tournament team as both a junior and senior. In softball, the Lady Wildcats earned Kansas AIAW state champion trophies from her sophomore to senior years, were regional champions in both 1981 and 1982, played in the AIAW national softball tournament in 1981 and finished third in the national tournament in 1982 where Chris was named to the all-tournament team at shortstop.

Following graduation from Baker with a Bachelor of Science in business she began a long and successful career in education and coaching. Along the way she earned a Master of Science in educational administration degree from the University of Kansas. She has taught and served as the head track coach and assistant basketball coach at O’Hara High School in Kansas City, Mo., as head track coach at Piper High School in Kansas City, Kan., and as head golf coach and head basketball coach at Park Hill High School in Kansas City, Mo. From 1987 to 1998 she served as head basketball coach at Piper High School where her teams had a 127-114 overall record and her 1993 team finished third in the Kansas Class 4A state basketball tournament.

Since 2000, she has served as a teacher and coach at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Overland Park where she has served as the varsity basketball assistant coach and the head softball coach with several of the teams in both sports reaching the Kansas Class 6A state tournament finishing as both runner-up and state champion. In addition to her professional responsibilities she has spent over 25 years instructing and directing summer youth camps for basketball and softball, most notably for the Women’s Intersport Network for Kansas City, a volunteer driven organization whose mission is to empower women and girls by advocating and promoting the lifetime value of sports and fitness. She is the proud daughter of Joseph and Virginia Orel and sister to six siblings.

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