Monday, June 12, 2017

Coaching Carousel Spins On

As the NCAA tournament and the Division I postseason rolled on, several schools elected to make changes at the head coaching position. Let’s get caught up and take a look at some of those moves.

Connie Miner Resigns at Oakland
Longtime Oakland head coach Connie Miner resigned her role after five seasons, leaving the program after a 2017 season that saw the Golden Grizzlies post a 20-26 record.

The Grizzlies’ record included a 13-12 conference mark in ‘17, while her career record in her quintet of seasons was 83-127-1, a .396 winning percentage.

Miner led the Grizzlies to an NCAA tournament appearance in 2015, after winning twenty-seven games and the Horizon League regular season and tournament titles.

In the news release announcing the move, Miner noted that she desired to devote more time to her Connie Miner Softball School of Excellence, as well as pursue other coaching opportunities.

La Salle, Ron Shoemaker Part Ways
La Salle head coach Ron Shoemaker will not return to the program in 2018.

Shoemaker’s time at the helm of the Explorers lasted five seasons, after he was hired prior to the 2013 year. Shoemaker posted an 85-132 record during his time at the school, including a 35-69 record in conference play.

Shoemaker’s squad posted a 20-27 record in 2017, including a 7-16 conference record. The Explorers’ finest season under his leadership could have been in 2014, when the squad went 18-24 and posted a .500 record in conference play.

Shoemaker's resume included stops as an assistant coach at Saint Joseph's and Temple, as well as an assistant coaching stint at La Salle in the mid-late 1990s.

Lafayette, Jexx Varner Part Ways
Jexx Varner, who had been head coach at Lafayette for four years, departed the program to “pursue other professional opportunities.”

Leopards athletic director Bruce McCutcheon noted his “surprise” at the news of Varner’s departure in a news release announcing the move.

Varner had been at Lafayette for four seasons, accumulating a career record of 40-129 at the school, with a 13-59 mark in conference play. His program never won more than five games in conference, including a 1-17 conference season in 2015.

Lafayette was Varner’s first head coaching position; he previously served as an assistant coach at Kent State and Division II Ashland.

Santa Clara Release Head Coach Mize
After nine seasons as head coach at Santa Clara, Lisa Mize will not return to the program for the 2018 season.

Mize assembled a 97-404 career record at the school, including a 38-142 mark in conference play. In 2017, Mize’s team went 12-37, with a 4-11 conference record.

During her tenure, Mize presided over the softball program’s move from the Pacific Coast Softball Conference to the West Coast Conference in 2013-14.

Mize previously served as an assistant coach and interim head coach before becoming full-time head coach of the Broncos. After pitching for Fresno State to finish her career, Mize was also an Olympian in 1996.

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