The Bethel College Athletic Department is proud to announce today that Megan Smalley has accepted the position as Head Softball Coach at Bethel College, replacing Anna Welsh who will be starting the softball program at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida. Megan comes to Bethel after serving as an assistant coach at Olivet Nazarene University for the last two seasons under Coach Ritchie Richardson. Olivet Nazarene finished this past season with an overall record of 54-9 and a trip to the NAIA National Tournament. Smalley came to ONU after two years as the graduate assistant coach at Springfield College (Mass.) where she headed up the junior varsity program.
Megan graduated in 2007 from ONU with a major in psychology. She is completing her master's degree in sport and exercise psychology from Springfield College (Mass.). Smalley was a four-year letter winner as a pitcher/outfielder for ONU. During her time at ONU (2004-2007), Smalley helped guide the Tigers to 178 wins, one CCAC tournament championship (2005) and one CCAC regular season championship (2007). Smalley was also a member of the 2006 squad that took claim to the NCCAA National Tournament championship. Her freshman year (2004) was her best on the mound, as Smalley put together a season pitching record of 13-2 with a 2.69 ERA. She was able to post a perfect game against University of Illinois-Springfield in that same year. From the plate, Smalley recorded her best season in 2007, where she posted a batting average of .303 with four homeruns and 35 RBI's. As a student at ONU, Smalley was just as successful in the classroom, as she was a two-time NAIA, NCCAA and NFCA Scholar Athlete (2006, 2007).
Megan is from Flushing, Michigan, where she was First Team All-State as a pitcher during her senior year in 2003. During her junior year, she set school records in wins (33) and shut-outs (18) and earned 2nd Team All-State.
"Megan Smalley is an outstanding young lady who is very motivated and excited to get her first head coaching job at Bethel College," said BC Athletic Director Jody Martinez. "She comes highly recommended from Coach Ritchie Richardson at Olivet Nazarene University and the committee was very impressed with her during the interview process. We are losing an outstanding coach in Anna Welsh (and her husband Jeff who served as an assistant coach) and I feel that getting another ONU graduate under Coach Richardson is the right choice to replace Anna. The committee has great confidence in Megan that she will continue the winning tradition of excellence on and off the field with the softball program. We welcome Megan to the Bethel family!"
"I could not be more excited to have this opportunity to join the Bethel College athletic staff," said Megan Smalley. "The moment I stepped on campus, I felt welcomed by everyone I met and there was this feeling of belonging that made me realize God had a place for me in this community. With a strong history of winning in Bethel Softball, I look forward to working with the student-athletes in continuing to develop the program and to bring out the best in each athlete. As a team, we will strive to not only compete at the highest level but to challenge every team in the conference. We will continue to set goals of winning the MCC regular season conference title, the conference tournament, and to make an appearance at the NAIA National Tournament," added Smalley. "If it weren't for the support of my entire family, I would not have been able to pursue my passion of softball. Through the encouragement and sacrifices of my parents, I fulfilled my dream of playing at the college level and now coaching collegiate players. I have learned so much about the sport from Coach Ritchie during my time at Olivet as a player and an assistant coach. I can only hope to pass on the hard work ethic and desire to win to those I get to coach."