June 29, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Kelly Kovach Schoenly was named head coach of the Ohio State softball team Heather Lyke, associate athletics director for sport administration, announced Friday. Schoenly becomes the eighth coach in the program’s 40-year history.
“I am honored and humbled for the chance to lead the Buckeye softball program, one I have respected for decades,” Schoenly said. “I would like to thank Gene Smith, Heather Lyke, and the entire search committee for this incredible opportunity. What makes this university special are the people, the tradition, and the excellence. My goal is to continue that legacy within our softball program.”
“Kelly Kovach Schoenly is the ideal fit for The Ohio State University,” Lyke said. “She brings a tremendous focus on the development of the entire student-athlete athletically, academically and personally. Kelly has an outstanding playing and coaching pedigree which is evident by her leadership qualities and the success she has had as a head coach. We look forward to the positive impact she will make on the Ohio State softball program.”
Schoenly spent six seasons as head coach at Miami (Ohio) and was the program’s all-time winningest coach with 188 career victories, leading the RedHawks to their first MAC Tournament title in 2009 before winning again in 2012. Schoenly also led the team to two NCAA Tournament berths in both 2009 and 2012, respectively. Prior to her stint at Miami, Schoenly was an assistant coach at Penn State (1998-2006) for eight seasons and helped guide the Nittany Lions to seven Big Ten Tournament appearances and six NCAA Tournament berths. Before her time in State College, Schoenly was an assistant at her alma mater, Michigan, for three years (1995-98), helping the squad reach the NCAA Women’s College World Series three consecutive times.
At Miami, Schoenly led the team to four consecutive 30-win seasons, including a record-breaking 41-win campaign in 2012. Last season, the RedHawks won three consecutive games in one day at the MAC Tournament to claim the league tournament title and an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. She led the RedHawks to a 1-0 upset over fifth-ranked Tennessee in the opening round of the Knoxville Regional. Under Schoenly’s leadership, the RedHawks collected 83 wins in MAC play. She had 15 players earn a total of 25 All-MAC honors, three players earn four All-Region honors and two players earn three MAC Player of the Year awards.
In 2012, Schoenly coached Jessica Simpson to MAC Pitcher of the Year honors for the second-consecutive season – only the third pitcher in conference history to win the award multiple times. Schoenly also led the team to its first NCAA Tournament victory in 2009.
Prior to her time in Oxford, Schoenly guided one of the nation's best pitching staffs in 2006, as the Nittany Lions finished the season ranked 12th nationally in ERA (1.36) and limited their opponents to 74 earned runs in 380.2 innings. During her eight-year tenure, Schoenly helped Penn State to seven 30-win seasons, including a program-record 39 wins in 2006. Schoenly also produced two All-America pitchers, including 2005 National Fastpitch Coaches Association Third-Team honoree Ashley Esparza and 2006 Second-Team All-Great Lakes Region pitcher Missy Beseres, the first Nittany Lion in program history to be drafted to play professional softball.
During her stint in Ann Arbor, the Wolverines won two Big Ten regular-season titles, three Big Ten Tournament titles, three NCAA Regional Championships and made three trips to the NCAA Women's College World Series. In addition to being honored as part of the NFCA Great Lakes Coaching Staff of the Year in 1998, Schoenly coached one All-America pitcher, three conference pitchers of the year and six all-conference selections.
During her collegiate pitching career at Michigan (1991-95), Schoenly earned numerous conference and national awards, including 1995 NFCA First-Team All-America honors. A two-time Big Ten Pitcher of the Year and three-time all-conference selection, Schoenly was a member of three Big Ten Conference Championship teams and played on the 1995 squad, which finished seventh at the NCAA Women's College World Series.
A two-time GTE Academic All-American, Schoenly received her bachelor's degree in elementary education from Michigan in December of 1995. After receiving the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, Schoenly went on to earn her master's degree in elementary mathematics education from Michigan in May of 1998.
Schoenly and her husband Doug, a Penn State alumnus and tennis professional, has one daughter, Danielle.