Eastern Kentucky University (1998)
Overall record: 279-173-1 (eight seasons)
Phone: (281) 922-3413
Fax: (281) 922-3448
Entering her ninth season at San Jacinto College, head coach Kelly Saenz has built a respected softball program that has taken San Jac to new levels. Since her arrival at the SJC South Campus more than eight years ago, Saenz’s teams have won nearly 62 percent of their games, and did what many thought they couldn’t do in 2008 – earn a berth in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) national tournament.
Saenz guided the 2011 team to a 40-21 overall record, the third 40+ win season for the veteran coach. That year’s squad finished fifth at the Region XIV tournament. Six players earned All-Region and All-South Region honors, and two went on to continue their softball and academic careers at NCAA or NAIA institutions.
San Jac finished the 2010 season with a 28-26-1 record, and a surprising third place finish at the conference tournament. Six players were named to the All-South Region team, and two earned NJCAA Region XIV All-Conference honors. In addition, three went on to continue their softball and education careers at four-year universities.
In 2009, Saenz guided San Jac to a 42-19 overall record, 23-9 in conference play, and a second place finish in the Region XIV South Zone. Four of Saenz’s players earned NJCAA and National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) honors, including Kelsey McClain and Courtney Pettit, who were NFCA second-team All-Americans. McClain and Pettit also combined for eight school records, leading San Jac to another 40-win season.
Saenz’s team posted the most successful season in school history in 2008 when they won the conference tournament, advanced to the national tournament for the first time in school history, and finished fourth in the nation. Three players were named to the all-region team and NJCAA national tournament All-tournament team, four to the NFCA All-Midwest region team, and two to the NFCA All-American team. Saenz led the squad to a 41-17 overall record, the most single-season wins at San Jac for Saenz, and her coaching staff earned the NFCA Regional Coaching Staff of the Year award for the Midwest Region.
Saenz’s teams and players have had much of the same success since her arrival at the College in 2004. In 2006 and 2007, Saenz guided San Jac to sixth-place finishes at the regional tournament. In 2007, three players were named to the all-region team, as well as to the NFCA all-Midwest region team, while each season saw three student-athletes continue their academic and softball careers at NCAA institutions.
In 2004 and 2005, Saenz’s first two seasons at the helm of the San Jac program, her teams finished second and fourth, respectively, at the conference tournament. The 2005 team posted a 35-23 overall record with four players named to the Region XIV all-conference team and three NFCA all-Americans. In 2004, Saenz’s first season, her team posted a 38-23 overall mark.
Saenz began her collegiate coaching career at Frank Phillips College in Borger, Texas, where she spent the 2003 season with the Lady Plainsmen.
Saenz holds a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Kentucky University, where she was the 1998 Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year. She went on to earn her master’s degree from the University of South Dakota. Saenz and her husband, Mike, reside in Houston.