Jaclin Poole just completed her fourth season as the Head Coach of the Lees-McRae softball program.
The Bobcats have seen consistent improvement under the direction of Poole during her time in Banner Elk. The team's win total has increased every season during Poole's tenure (10 - 1st season, 15 - 2nd season, 17 - third season, 22 - fourth season). Highlighting Poole's tenure was the 2019 campaign where she guided the Bobcats to their first-ever Conference Carolinas Tournament Championship and their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance and victory. Poole has coached several players to All-Conference Carolinas teams, All-Tournament teams and lastly Kara Cunningham (2019) to Conference Carolinas Player of the Year honors, a pair of All-Region selections and one All-American nod.
Poole was named the new Head Coach for LMC Softball on Aug. 27, 2015.
“It’s bittersweet as Coach (Merritt) Yackey helped build our program and was a trusted friend to all in the athletic department and campus community, however, with Jaclin, we have a seamless transition,” praised McPhail. “She was a stellar student-athlete in our region, has played professionally in Europe and has spent time with our young women over the course of the last year.”
Poole spent the 2015 season as the assistant coach for the Bobcats while participating as a player/coach with the Vienna Wanderers.
With the Wanderers, she held coaching responsibilities, such as running practices, working closely with the offense and defense, scheduling games and working various clinics and camps.
“Jaclin understands the relationship building, character development and importance of graduating young women for successful careers after their time on the diamond is over,” said McPhail. “She has the drive and desire to build upon Merritt’s good work and we are thrilled to have her on board.”
She is a graduated of Coker College and has a Bachelor of Science in sports management.
With the Cobras, she was tabbed “Freshman Athlete of the Year”. Poole was a two-time all-tournament team representative for Conference Carolinas and received the 2012 Coaches Leadership Award.
Poole was a four-year scholarship softball player at Coker while exceling in the classroom. She was named to the Presidential Honor Roll and a NFCA All-America Scholar.
“I am ecstatic to be joining Bobcat Nation as the new head softball coach. I have huge shoes to fill behind Coach Yackey, but I know he has left me in a good place to come in and be successful,” said Poole. “I love the Lees-McRae environment and I would not want to begin my career at any other establishment. I am grateful to Dr. (Barry) Buxton and Craig McPhail for giving me this chance.”
Rachel Ross was named the new assistant coach for the Lees-McRae College softball program on August 16, 2019. Ross comes to Lees-McRae after serving as the assistant coach for Greensboro College this past season.
"I feel very fortunate and excited for the opportunity to be a part of the Lees-McRae Softball coaching staff," said Ross. "I am ready to get to work with Coach Poole and the girls to make this a successful season. I want to thank everyone in the athletic department for welcoming me in with open arms. I look forward to this season and others to come."
At her position in Greensboro College, Ross helped with recruiting, fundraising, practice planning, game day management, field maintenance and camp coordination. Prior to coming to Greensboro, Ross also coached at Cerro Coso Community College and Talladega College.
"Adding Rachel to our staff was a no-brainer," said LMC Head Coach Jaclin Poole. "She demonstrates a strong softball IQ, but more importantly her energy and passion is unmatched. I look forward to working with her to build upon the successes we have seen in the past few years!"
The Bobcats are coming off their most successful season in program history in capturing the Conference Carolinas Tournament Championship to go along with their first NCAA Tournament appearance and victory.
"This is a great opportunity for us," said LMC Vice President of Athletics and Club Sports Craig McPhail. "We made personnel moves to give our softball program an assistant coach. Rachel's experience will be beneficial for our pitchers and catchers. She has a wonderful work ethic to help us build off of last year's success."