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THE FLATS (RamblinWreck.com) - Shelly Hoerner, a successful head coach for 14 seasons including the past eight years at the College of Charleston, was named Georgia Tech's head softball coach, athletic director Mike Bobinski confirmed Friday.
Hoerner compiled a record of 254-206 at the College of Charleston, including a 105-72 mark in Southern Conference play. The Southern Conference Coach of the Year in 2007, Hoerner led the Cougars to a record of 37-20 overall, 15-8 in the Southern Conference, last season. Her career record in 14 years overall is 458-326.
"We are excited to have Shelly Hoerner take over the reins of our softball program," athletic director Mike Bobinski said. "She demonstrated a great understanding of and appreciation for Georgia Tech, and her passion to become our head coach was evident. We have every confidence that she is the right person to lead our program to new heights.
"(Associate athletic director) Theresa Wenzel and the search committee did an excellent job of identifying Shelly as a candidate with previous success as a head coach, and someone who will be a great fit at Georgia Tech."
Hoerner takes over a program that has captured three Atlantic Coast Conference championships over the last five years, although the Yellow Jackets slipped to 25-30 in 2013 under former coach Sharon Perkins.
Hoerner is just the fifth full-time head coach in the program's history.
Georgia Tech began varsity competition in 1987 and hired its first full-time head coach, Regina Tomaselli, in 1991.
During her time at College of Charleston, Hoerner coached the Southern Conference Player of the Year in 2007 and 2009, and the SoCon Pitcher of the Year in 2011. Her Cougar teams were runner-up in the Southern Conference Tournament in 2011 and 2012.
Since 2005, Hoerner has also served as head coach of USA Athletes International, which has played in foreign tours all over Europe.
Prior to working at College of Charleston, Hoerner spent a month in 2005 at NC State, where she served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator.
From 2000-2005, Hoerner was a successful head coach at Barry University, compiling a cumulative record of 191-82. She led Barry to Sunshine State Conference championships in 2002 and 2003, and she was named the conference's Coach of the Year both of those seasons. In 2002, she led Barry to a regional title and was selected as the regional Coach of the Year.
Hoerner began her head coaching career at Valdosta State, where she coached one season (2000).
She first embarked on a coaching career as an assistant coach at Barry from 1996-99.
Prior to joining the coaching ranks, Hoerner was an outstanding player on the collegiate level. In two years at Barry University (1993-94), the Buccaneers won 80 games. An all-conference selection, Hoerner helped Barry advance to the NCAA Division II College Softball World Series, where the Buccaneers finished in fifth place. In her two seasons at Barry, Hoerner struck out just six times in 224 at bats while scoring 41 runs and collecting 30 RBI.
Following the 1994 season she transferred to Canisius in Buffalo, N.Y., where she ranks among the school's all-time leaders in fielding percentage and stolen bases. In 1995, Hoerner led the Golden Griffins to a 28-14 mark, 11-1 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, and records of 33-7 and 11-1 in 1996. Canisius won the MAAC title in both years and Hoerner was a two-time all-conference selection.
Hoerner also gained both professional and world experience in 1998 when she signed with Cavigal Nice Sports, a team in Nice, France, during the summer. She played catcher and helped guide the team to a fifth-place finish in the European Championships.
A 1996 graduate of Canisius, Hoerner also holds a Master's degree from Barry in 2003. Hoerner and husband, Jeff, were married in 1999.
STATEMENT FROM HOERNER
"I would like to thank Athletic Director Mike Bobinski and Associate Athletic Director / Senior Women's Administrator Theresa Wenzel for providing me this amazing opportunity to be part of such a successful athletics department and high academic institution as the new Georgia Tech head softball coach. I am excited about the vision Georgia Tech athletics has and am looking forward to leading this very talented softball program to the top of the ACC and national prominence. I am really looking forward to meeting the current student-athletes and to begin putting in place our game plan to compete for an ACC Championship.
"The opportunity to be the head coach at Georgia Tech and compete in the highly competitive ACC is a dream come true. There is a family atmosphere and competitive demeanor at Georgia Tech that made me feel right at home and gave me the sense that this was the perfect fit. My family and I are truly ready to make Georgia Tech our home.
"I would be remiss if I didn't thank the College of Charleston, the athletic department, and especially my team. The support they have shown me in the last 24 hours is what has made this decision so bittersweet. They are a terrific group of student-athletes but even better people. I wish them and their families happiness and much success. "