By David Rogers. June 23, 2017. BOONE, NC — Describing Shelly Hoerner as the most successful head coach at the Division I level in the history of Appalachian State’s softball program, athletic director Doug Gillin introduced the newest member of the Mountaineers coaching mentors on Friday with players, alumni, coaches, program supporters and members of the media looking on.
COVER IMAGE: Shelly Hoerner acknowledges and thanks athletics director Doug Gillin, left, for his trust in her being hired to lead the softball program at Appalachian State.
Hoerner comes to App State from a four-year stint guiding the Georgia Tech program. In 2016, she not only recorded her 500th coaching win but also saw her team record the highest academic performance in the athletic department in both 2016 and 2017. Her team’s GPA averaged 3.2 over her four years mentoring the Yellow Jackets.
Not unfamiliar with the Mountaineers, Hoerner compiled a 254-206 record while serving as head coach of App State’s former Southern Conference rival, College of Charleston, including being named SoCon “Coach of the Year” in 2007.
From 2000-2005, Hoerner was the head coach of Miami-based NCAA Division II contender, Barry University, a member of the Sunshine State Conference.
Hoerner explained to Blowing Rock News that success in softball comes from believing in “the process.” Above all, she noted, it is a team game and the team is more important than any individual, even though it relies on individuals’ contributions.
“I am excited to lead this program with passion and purpose,” Hoerner told the gathering on the fifth floor of the Athletics Center. “We will provide the necessary structure and support to help our student-athletes be successful on the field, in the classroom and in the community.”
With a nod to the almost a dozen players filling the first couple of rows in the audience, Hoerner added, “These young women will be prepared for life after they graduate from App State. I look forward to bringing a family atmosphere to this program along with engaging our many alumni and their families. We will work as one unit to establish a championship mentality and elevate App State Softball in the Sun Belt Conference.”
The new coach acknowledged to Blowing Rock News that softball is one of the sports in which the Sun Belt Conference is among the strongest of the Division I conferences. “There are some very good teams in the Sun Belt,” she said. “I think we compete right away and at least be in the top four.”
Hoerner is a 1996 graduate of Canisius College in Buffalo, NY, and holds a Masters degree from Barry University earned in 2003.