Three Former Racers Join the Collegiate Coaching Ranks

Posted on Friday, September 28, 2018


UNOH Softball Team

Upon graduation, three recent UNOH softball alumna have secured graduate assistant coaching positions at various schools across the country.  Heather Sanderson '17, Kelly Merkle '18 and Macey Harder '18 have found their way back to the softball field after successful playing careers at UNOH.

After one year at Northland College as their pitching coach and assistant athletic director, Sanderson has been named as Interim Head Coach at Alverno College (NCAA III) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The most decorated pitcher in Racer history, Sanderson graduated with her degree in Sports Marketing and Management in 2017. 

Heather Sanderson

"I am excited for a new coaching opportunity at Alverno College and working towards my master's degree in Organizational Development," said Sanderson. "The opportunities that UNOH gave me through athletics and my sport marketing and management degree seem endless. From different experiences on the field that I was able to take into life experiences, to passing on that knowledge to an internship that helped explain the world of sports, I now get to use all of those experiences in one place around the sport I love."                  

Merkle, a First Team All-Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference selection and a member of the 2018 championship squad that advanced to the NAIA Tournament, led the Racers in batting average and fielding percentage during her senior campaign.  She returns to the field as a graduate assistant at Briar Cliff University (NAIA) in Sioux City, Iowa. 

Kelly Merkle

"I am getting my master's in sports management while coaching softball," said Merkle. "I am excited to use the knowledge and experiences I've gained from UNOH in earning my degree and seeing the sport from the other side."

Macey Harder, the UNOH softball all-time leader in games played, games started, runs scored, doubles and RBIs, has joined the coaching ranks at Walsh University (NCAA II) in North Canton, Ohio.  She is pursuing her master's degree in school counseling. 

Macey Harder

"Having such a caring and motivating support system in the classroom and on the field pushed me to pursue my education and passion for the game at the coaching level," said Harder.  "UNOH athletics gives you the opportunity to explore all aspects of a sport. In such a strong athletic department and great environment, I was able to gain knowledge and take it with me to my future endeavors."

"We are thrilled to have so many successful young women continue their education and join the coaching ranks," said Racer head coach Tracy Coffman.  "Our sport needs passionate young women who are committed to the student-athlete experience and I know that Heather, Kelly and Macey are excellent ambassadors of the game.  I think our alumna gaining these experiences speaks volumes to our Sport Marketing and Management major here at UNOH and to the overall student-athlete experience that UNOH athletics provides.  I personally am so proud of all of our alumni's achievements and am looking forward to seeing where their coaching careers lead them."

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Category: Athletics

Keywords: Softball, UNOH, Coaching

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Last updated: 09/28/2018