BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ---- Samford University's Beanie Ketcham has announced her resignation as the school's head softball coach, effective at the end of the 2010 season.
"I want to thank (Samford President) Dr. (Andrew) Westmoreland and (Director of Athletics) Bob Roller for the opportunity I have had to coach at Samford," Ketcham said. "The quality of faculty, staff and coaches I have had to work with over the years has been tremendous. It has been an honor to be involved with the student-athletes who have come and gone through our athletic programs. The quality of our students is unmatched. I am also proud of my players not only for what they have accomplished on the field, but because of the young women they are becoming. I always tell people that no one has better kids that I do. I will miss them tremendously and wish them the best personally and in future seasons."
In her first season at Samford, Ketcham posted a school-record 27-17-1 mark during the 2003 campaign. She followed that performance with a 28-33 record in Samford's inaugural year in the Ohio Valley Conference. A year later, Ketcham led the Bulldogs to a 27-26 overall record and a third-place finish in the conference standings. Then in 2006, Ketcham became the first coach in school history to reach the 100-win plateau when the Bulldogs earned a 6-1 victory against Morehead State on April 29.
In 2008, Ketcham led the Bulldogs to their first-ever appearance in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament semifinals and last season, on the heels of a season that brought numerous challenges, the Bulldogs persevered to make the semifinals in the Southern Conference Tournament in their first year as a member institution. In 2009, Ketcham led the Samford squad to a 21-30 overall record and 10-14 record in league play.
During her seven years at the helm of the Samford softball program, Ketcham has led the Bulldogs to a 190-217-1 record.
In the summer of 2006, Ketcham was named an assistant coach for the U.S.A. Women's Baseball team. Under her tutelage, the pitching staff of the Red, White and Blue helped the U.S. squad capture the gold medal in the 2006 World Tournament in Taiwan. She returned to Japan in 2008 to coach Team U.S.A., which won the bronze with a 2-1 victory over Australia.
"We appreciate everything that Beanie has done to help grow our softball program at Samford," Roller said. "She has worked tirelessly to make our student-athletes better people –both on and off the field. We cannot thank her enough for all that she has given to the program and wish her the very best."
Ketcham, a member of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association and the Alabama Dixie Softball Hall of Fame, earned her master's degree in theological studies at Samford's Beeson School of Divinity. She has also been active in Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
A national search for Samford's new head softball coach will begin immediately.