Another team. Another coach.
Clarion University will look to hire its fourth head coach for an athletic team in the last six months.
After having head coaches for men’s and women’s basketball for over 25 years and a women’s soccer coach for the last four years, all resigned at the end of their seasons.
The women’s basketball and soccer vacancies have been filled; with men’s basketball still open. Now its softball’s turn.
Former softball head coach Shintrika Hudson stepped down this past week.
Hudson had been the Golden Eagles head coach for the past four seasons.
Hudson was a four-year starting outfielder for Clarion from 2000-2003.
In 126 career games, she stole 11 bases and scored 38 runs which are tied for the second and third most at Clarion since 1999.
Hudson returned to Clarion in early 2010 and served as a graduate assistant in the College of Education and Human Services and was the office manager for the Clarion Philosophy Department among other responsibilities.
Hudson was named interim head coach in fall 2010 and the interim tag was removed prior to the start of the 2012 season.
Under Hudson’s guidance, Clarion’s offense had one of its most productive seasons in 2012 hitting .267, the highest team-batting average since 1995 while scoring 131 runs, the most by a Golden Eagle squad since at least 1992.
Hudson will stay with the university and fill a position in the Academic Services department.
“We wish Shintrika good luck in her new job,” stated Athletic Director Dave Katis. “We look forward to the search for a new head coach.”
That coaching search, according to Katis, is already under way and looks to be filled by the end of the calendar year, but Katis went on to state that his first priority was filling the vacant men’s basketball position which he hopes to have filled by the end of September.
The new softball coach will be, will not be walking into a bare cupboard.
Clarion did finish with an overall record of four and 29 last season, but three of those wins came in conference play which were the most for Clarion since 2010 and tied for second-most in the last decade behind the 2005 team.
The team did graduate a second-team All-PSAC West outfielder in Kirsten Wilcox and a utility player in Elizabeth Shiring, but they do return quality players.
Sophomore Paige Baker was formidable last season as a number two starter and senior Shawnna Crago will be the ace of the pitching staff this season.
Crago was caught off-guard by Hudson’s sudden resignation, but she is happy for Hudson’s new position on campus.
“[Hudson] had been wanting this position for quite some time and we respect her decision… but there was a lot of disappointment… but I have a feeling that things are looking up for us.”
Also third baseman Christina Tressler returns after posting a .383 batting average and .532 slugging percentage last season.
Clarion will open the new season in March 2015.
Another team. Another coach.