Getting to know Kelly Kirkpatrick

October 3, 2017 11:00 am Views: 341

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Written by: UNOH Contributing Columnist, Carson Baymiller

Kelly Kirkpatrick is the new assistant coach of the University of Northwestern Ohio varsity softball team and head coach of the junior varsity team. Kirkpatrick has been playing softball since she was young starting off with the recreational slow pitch leagues then progressed to the very tedious and competitive fast-pitch travel ball league. She was a four-year letterman and co-captain of her high school softball team, following high school graduation Kirkpatrick decided to take her athletic ability to a junior college at Cuyahoga College in Cleveland, Ohio. After two years playing in Cleveland, she was recruited to the beloved UNOH where she finished her last two years playing for the newly developed program coached by Tracy Coffman, UNOH’s head softball Coach. Following playing for Coach Coffman, Kirkpatrick took her coaching career to The University of Rio Grande where she was a graduate assistant and helped coached the Red Storm for two seasons. Brittany Jurek, the past UNOH assistant softball coach accepted a head coaching position at Northland College, freeing up the position that Kirkpatrick gladly accepted.

I questioned Kirkpatrick about why she wanted to come back to UNOH and what her favorite thing about coaching the Racers, “Home is Home” she said. “I was in the same position that all the players were, I really value the whole experience. It is so much fun to see how much passion all the girls have for the game, because I was in their shoes. And I now have the opportunity to develop their skills to be the best athletes they can be.”

I then asked her what she hopes to bring to the UNOH program.  Her response was heartfelt, “Honestly, some spunk and attitude, I want to push all our athletes to help get that competitive edge and to realize how much talent we have and how good we are.” Her goals for her first year in this new position is to keep up the recruiting with the Junior Varsity and to maintain the high academic expectations the program has with all the program athletes.

At the end of September, the UNOH softball team held their first ever Alumni weekend, where a handful of past graduates attended an Alumni dinner, caught up with each other, and even attended the softball scrimmage on Sunday where the Racers swept Mott Community College. I asked Kirkpatrick what it was like to be around all her old teammates. “It really made me miss playing, we shared so many memories together and it really took me back to when I was playing when we shared all those memories at dinner,” she stated. “It is so crazy how much this program has grown, and how independent the girls have become.”

Kirkpatrick is excited to take her coaching abilities back to her Alma Mater and cannot wait to coach her first season in the spring of 2018. We wish her all the best!

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