A new school year brings a lot of new faces to campus, students and staff alike. This year, the softball team brought in Jessica Strong as the new head coach for the season.
Strong replaced Jessica O’Donnell, who was hired in June and departed SHU to coach at St. Francis University after less than three weeks in the position. O’Donnell had replaced Bill Monstrola, who was not retained after spending the last four seasons as head coach.
Last season, Strong was an assistant coach at Shippensburg University, and also spent two years as an assistant coach at Moravian College. Additionally, she coached the women’s softball team at her alma mater, Armstrong State, in Georgia, and played softball throughout high school and college.
She explained that the transition from Shippensburg to SHU has been overall easy due to working in higher education before, but that the hardest part is learning the team and the uniqueness of each of the players.
Strong said she is most looking forward to having the opportunity to work with the team because during the 2018 season, they had a nice PSAC performance where the team finished 23-17 overall and qualified for the NCAA Atlantic Regional.
Strong said one of her biggest accomplishments as a coach was going to the college softball world championship. Another is seeing her athletes go from first year players to seniors as they learn both on and off the field.
Outside of coaching the softball team at SHU, Strong also enjoys being on the other side of the game, as she plays on an adult league, as well as participating in other outdoor activities.
Her biggest philosophy for student athletes is to be a good person in life in your academics & sports; through this you are setting yourself up for success.
Published By: Stephen Dumnich