Tacket aims high for softball program at Transylvania
September 29, 2011 Leave a comment
by Abby Fergusson
Transylvania athletics made another coaching move for the 2012 season with the addition of head softball coach Kim Tackett.
Tackett was a Muskingum University All-American, where she played for the late Donna Newberry, who was the winningest NCAA Division III coach in her 36-year career.
While at Muskingum, Tackett was a four-year starter at both second base and center field. She was a three-time All-Region performer and was named a second-team All-American in 2005.
During her career Muskingum won four conference championships and four conference tournament championships, three regional championships and went to the Division III College World Series three times.
Prior to her hire at Transy, Tackett was an assistant coach at John Carroll University for three years, where she helped the school to its first Ohio Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament championships. The team’s success led to an OAC Coaching Staff of the Year honor in 2010.
Looking back at her time at Muskingum, Tackett cherishes the time she spent with Coach Newberry. However, her admiration for her coach goes beyond the game of softball.
“(Newberry) is a remarkable, strong woman who battled breast cancer three times; the last bout unfortunately took her life,” said Tackett. “Playing for her has left an everlasting impression in my heart, on my life and in my coaching career.”
Tackett plans to keep Coach Newberry’s legacy alive.
“The life lessons she taught through the game of softball is something I try to replicate for my student-athletes,” said Tackett. “She has truly created a ripple effect in this world, and she can rest assured I am committed to keeping that ripple pushing outward.”
Holding a head coaching position has been a desire of Tackett’s for quite some time. Tackett applied for the coaching position not knowing what the area was like, but quickly realized during her visit that Lexington was special.
“The area that Transylvania Universityis located in was definitely a draw. When I came on my interview, I fell in love with Lexington,” said Tackett.
Aside from the area, Tackett believes the biggest draw to the coaching position was the program’s past success.
“I was eager to coach at a place that showed support for its athletic programs and I was able to find that in Transy,” said Tackett.
Tackett wants to build on the previous success of the softball program.
“I want to continue to win the regular-season title and the conference tournament, earning us a bid to the NCAA tournament. I am looking to take this program to new heights, places it’s never been,” said Tackett.
The fall is a crucial time for building team chemistry and a time to prepare for the demands of the regular season.
“We have 10 freshmen, which outnumber our upperclassmen. Getting this new group to gel is going to be key for any kind of success we strive to have this season,” said Tackett. “We are also using this fall to establish a basis of understanding in regard to where their fitness level needs to be when they come back after winter break.”
Tackett sees the senior class as true leaders and wants to lead them to a successful final season at Transy.
“The seniors are doing an unbelievable job in taking the freshmen under their wings and molding them into Transy softball players,” said Tackett. “The leadership they have shown thus far is something I am very grateful for, especially as a new coach to Transy.”
Beyond continuing the team’s in-conference success, Tackett’s sights are set for the top.
“It is every coach’s dream to win a national championship, and I am no different — that is our ultimate goal for Transy softball,” Tackett said.