Collins named new CSM soft­ball coach

Pre­vi­ously as­sis­tant to for­mer coach Cleary

The Enterprise - - Sports - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @tblack­somds1

After one year as the head soft­ball coach at nearby Lackey High School in Charles County, the Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land re­cently named for­mer CSM as­sis­tant coach Becca Collins as its head soft­ball coach for the 2019 spring sea­son.

Collins, who had been the as­sis­tant soft­ball coach un­der for­mer head coach Jim Cleary from 2014-17, re­turns after one sea­son at Lackey where she guided the Charg­ers to the Class 1A South Re­gion ti­tle. A grad­u­ate of La Plata High School and a four-year starter at Con­cord Univer­sity (W.Va.), Collins is ea­ger to con­tinue her coach­ing ca­reer at CSM next spring.

“I am ec­static,” Collins said in a CSM news re­lease an­nounc­ing the hir­ing. “I feel ready to hit it hard and get go­ing. Com­ing out of col­lege, I fig­ured JUCO is a good start be­cause you want to push girls who want to go to the four-year uni­ver­si­ties. I re­al­ized it was the per­fect sit­u­a­tion to start my col­lege coach­ing ca­reer.”

“CSM ath­let­ics wel­comes Becca back to the cam­pus,” CSM ath­letic di­rec­tor Michelle Ru­ble said. “She was an ex­cep­tional as­sis­tant coach here for three years un­der Jim’s su­per­vi­sion and left us to gain head coach­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. She did an ex­cep­tional job with Lackey last year and we are very lucky to have her back at CSM. She has put to­gether a great coach­ing staff and they are ready to get fall ball un­der­way.”

Collins takes over the helm from her pre­de­ces­sor and for­mer coach Cleary, who re­signed ear­lier this sum­mer. Cleary guided the Hawks to the Re­gion XX ti­tle in 2016, the school’s first such ti­tle since 2001. The team was 11-25 over­all a year ago, 7-11 in the Mary­land Ju­nior Col­lege Ath­letic Con­fer­ence.

“We were sad to learn that Jim needed to re­sign as our head soft­ball coach and leave the pro­gram as he worked very hard on the fa­cil­i­ties and re­cruit­ing alike,” Ru­ble said. “Jim would spend hours work­ing on the field to en­sure it was in per­fect con­di­tion and hours in the com­mu­nity talk­ing about CSM soft­ball to po­ten­tial re­cruits and their fam­i­lies. He was al­ways easy to spot in his CSM shirt and hat and he will be missed.”

Collins en­joyed a su­perb play­ing ca­reer at Con­cord and left her mark on the pro­gram. She be­came the school’s all-time leader in hits (188) and games played (180) and she con­cluded her play­ing days with a .324 bat­ting av­er­age, in­clud­ing a .380 mark her se­nior year, and she fin­ished sec­ond in school his­tory in runs scored (118), third in stolen bases (35) and fifth in RBIs (78).

“The first les­son I have learned as a coach is pa­tience be­cause they are not go­ing to get it right the first time,” Collins said. “When you do what your team needs you to do, you’re more likely to be suc­cess­ful. It makes you more ver­sa­tile and a bet­ter per­son. With the CSM [soft­ball] pro­gram, I feel like we are start­ing over. After the Hawks rough sea­son [in 2018], some­times it’s good to start over and build from the ground up.”

PHO­TOS COUR­TESY OF COL­LEGE OF SOUTH­ERN MARY­LAND

The Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land soft­ball team will have am­ple new faces when the team takes the field for the 2019 sea­son as for­mer as­sis­tant Becca Collins takes over for for­mer head coach Jim Cleary, far left, who re­signed the po­si­tion ear­lier this sum­mer.

For­mer Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land as­sis­tant soft­ball coach Becca Collins will re­turn to the squad after re­cently be­ing named the head soft­ball coach for the 2019 spring sea­son after spend­ing the pre­vi­ous sea­son as the head soft­ball coach at Lackey High School where she guided the Charg­ers to the Class 1A South Re­gion ti­tle.

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