GOSHEN, Ind. – The Goshen College Athletics Department and Athletic Director Tim Demant announced Kristen Kolter as the seventh head coach of the Maple Leaf softball program on Tuesday. A native of Decatur (Ind.), Kolter followed a spectacular career at Adams Central High School with successful stints as both a player and a coach at the NAIA level.
"We are extremely excited to have been able to find a coach with Kristen's experience and character," Demant explained. "Her understanding of the game and commitment to excellence will be a great benefit to our student-athletes."
Kolter spent two years as the head coach at Lyon College in Batesville, Ark. The Scots played in the ultra-competitive American Midwest Conference against the likes of Park University, Columbia College, William Woods University, and Missouri Baptist University. While at Lyon, Kolter was responsible for oversight of all areas of the program, including recruiting, player development, and fundraising while also spending time as the college's Sports Information Director.
"I am passionate about the game of softball and being able to coach at a Christian university," Kolter said of her appointment. "I believe Goshen College is a place that will embrace and support that calling. I was also born and raised in Indiana and am grateful for the opportunity to return."
Prior to her stint at Lyon, Kolter was a Graduate Assistant Coach at AMC foe Williams Woods University for two seasons. In two years (2009-2010), she helped the Owls to a 60-42 record, including a 23-9 mark in AMC play.
Kolter also spent one year as a graduate assistant for both the softball and volleyball programs at her alma mater Union University (Jackson, Tenn.). As a player at Union, Kolter appeared in 159 games, racking up a .285 batting average, 27 doubles, 60 runs batted in and 12 home runs. Defensively, she committed just one error in four seasons and helped the Bulldogs to a pair of NAIA National Tournaments, finishing the season ranked No. 9 and No. 16 in the country. Kolter's breakout season was as a junior when she batted .366 with six homers and 23 RBIs earning all conference and all region honors.
A two-time all conference selection in high school, Kolter finished her career with a .399 average with 107 hits, 81 RBIs, 26 doubles, and five triples. She also excelled in volleyball, leading her team to four-straight conference and section championships.
The newest Maple Leaf head coach now looks to turn her winning experience into the Goshen program, which finished the 2013 season at 7-23. Eleven lettermen return from last year's edition of the Leafs, including seven players who started at least 10 games.
"I want to build a solid program at Goshen so that when people look at this team, they see work ethic, desire, passion for the game, sportsmanship, integrity, and a team that is hard to beat," Kolter said. "I want my team to be fundamentally strong. We will do the small things right and minimize errors. I want to lead this team to conference titles and go to nationals."
Kolter will start her duties as head coach immediately, working to finalize the 2014 recruiting class and planning for fall team workouts.