By Jenny Gregory
(Cleveland)- Truett McConnell University’s (TMU) first ever softball coach stepped down following her 17th season as head coach.
“I am beyond grateful for my time here as head coach,” said Shepard in a recent ceremony honoring her coaching career at TMU. “It was a difficult decision, but I know the program is in a good place and it was the right time to step down.”
Coach Shepard announced that stepping down from the position will allow her time to focus on her role as Athletic Director, Vice President of Athletics, and Vice President of Student Services along with spending more time with her family.
Coach Shepard has been involved in collegiate softball for 23 years, which began with playing 4 years at Piedmont College as a standout utility player, earning the honor of being inducted to the Piedmont College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015. After graduation, Coach Shepard returned to Piedmont College as an assistant softball coach where she would begin her coaching career. Over the next two years, Coach Shepard helped coach Piedmont to its first ever GSAC Championship in 2005 and made 2 appearances at the NCCAA National Tournament where they recorded an 8th and 4th place finish. In 2005, Coach Shepard was honored with a spot on the GSAC Coaching Staff of the Year.
In that same year, Coach Shepard was named the first ever head coach of what was then known as Truett McConnell Junior College. Coach Shepard has built this program from the ground up from a two-year junior college, a four-year college, to a now four-year university.
During Coach Shepard’s tenure of being the head coach of TMU softball, she has recorded eight conference tournament appearances, two regular season conference championships, one conference tournament championship, three NAIA tournament appearances, one all American athlete.
To date, Shepard has recorded 373 career wins. Most importantly, she has discipled to countless student-athletes and helped them grow in their Faith with our Lord and Savior. Truett McConnell athletes leave TMU stronger in their faith because of Coach Shepard’s efforts to glorify God with all of her actions.
Dr. Emir Caner, President of Truett McConnell presented Shepard with a plaque signifying her excellence, hard work and dedication, to the Truett McConnell softball program.
“We are eternally grateful for all Jenni has done for the TMU Softball program for so many years,” said Caner.
“And although she is stepping down as head coach, the great part is she is not leaving. She is now Vice President for Athletics and Vice President of Student Services, and we congratulate her on these new promotions here at TMU.”
Jenny Gregory is the Director of Marketing and Communications at TMU.