BANNER ELK, N.C. -Julie Kennedy has decided to step down as softball coach at Lees-McRae College after leading the Lady Bobcats to their first winning season in ten years after six years at the helm of the program.
Kennedy took the team, picked to finish last, to a 22-20 overall record and an 8-10 record in Conference Carolinas play where the team finished seventh. Kennedy had one player selected to First Team All-Conference and one player selected as Conference Player of the Week and Conference Pitcher of the Week during the season.
"Coach Kennedy has done nothing less than transform Lees-McRae softball into a model Division II program. While they have enjoyed success on the diamond, our softball student athletes have excelled academically and have consistently graduated within a five year window. They've given back to the campus by taking on leadership roles in numerous campus clubs, accepted residence hall supervisory positions and held student government offices. Coach Kennedy's student athletes have provided countless hours of community service over the last six years," athletic director Ried Estus said. "Julie has spent six years preparing this program for the next head coach, and that individual will inherit a talented and wonderful group of young women."
The 2008 season marked the fifth consecutive season that the Bobcats maintained over a 3.0 cumulative team GPA, underscoring Kennedy's strong emphasis on academics. In 2007 the team had the 32nd best team GPA in the nation, recognized by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association, and four of the Athletes were selected by the NFCA as All-American Scholar Athletes. Seven of the Lady Bobcats on the 2006 squad received the NFCA All-American Scholar Award.
Also in 2008, Kennedy saw three players receive Conference Carolinas Player/Pitcher of the Week Awards and had a freshman named 2nd Team All-Conference. During her tenure Kennedy has had seven players named Player of the Week and seven squad members selected to All-Conference Teams. Also, Kennedy's 2007 squad broke into the NCAA Division II rankings in homeruns/game, doubles/game and double plays/game.
Prior to coming to Lees-McRae Coach Kennedy was an assistant coach at Campbell University, and before her time at Campbell, Kennedy coached one year at Louisiana Tech University.
As a softball player Coach Kennedy was selected as an NFCA
(National Fastpitch Coaches Association) Academic All-American
while playing outfield, third base and catcher for Delta State
University in Cleveland, Miss. She also played for Okaloosa-Walton
Community College for two seasons.