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Friday, June 22, 2012
Lexi Myers is changing jobs, but she will only be moving across campus.
After six seasons with the Lipscomb Lady Bisons softball team, two as a graduate assistant the last four as a full-time assistant, Myers will be taking over as head coach of the Lipscomb Academy Mustangs softball team replacing Gary Davis who recently retired.
“I thought it was a great opportunity for me to coach high school softball and teach physical education,” Myers said. “I don’t necessarily want to be a head coach at the college level. I was comfortable being an assistant but I always had an interest in coaching high school softball.
“I know traditionally they have had a very good program at Lipscomb Academy. They expect me to come in and continue that tradition and to take it to the next level.”
Engaged to Lipscomb Bisons pitching coach Tyler Shrout, the couple plans to get married in August of 2013 and Myers likes that fact that both of them will not be traveling to games and for recruiting visits.
“It was just good timing for me in planning the future,” Myers said. “This was not an easy decision for me. It is very tough. I thought about it a lot.”
Breaking the news to Lipscomb head coach Kristin Ryman proved to the biggest challenge.
“I love the program,” said Myers. “I love the girls. I love working with Kristin. We are great friends outside of softball. The most difficult part of the process was telling Kristin.”
It was difficult for Ryman to hear that her long-time assistant was leaving, but she wishes her the best of luck in her new position.
“I knew at some point in her career that Lexi would move on,” Ryman said. “It was a tough conversation to have.
“We were, and still will be, good close friends. The decision wasn’t made because of a lack of friendship; a lack of believing in each other’s coaching abilities or a lack of a belief in where this program is headed. It was a lifestyle change that she felt like she needed to pursue at this point.”
Myers has been responsible for coaching the pitchers during her time with the Lady Bisons. After ranking third in the nation in ERA in 2010 and in the top 15 in 2011, the Lady Bisons continued solid work on the mound in 2012 finishing with a 2.20 ERA just ahead of national champion Alabama.
Also in 2010 pitcher Whitney Kiihnl ranked No. 1 in the country in ERA and was both Atlantic Sun Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year. She also was a third team All-American. Kiihnl closed out her career this season ranking third in the history of the Atlantic Sun in career strikeouts.
Myers doesn’t plan to turn her back on the Lady Bisons program.
“I called the returning players to tell them that I was leaving,” Myers said. “I told them that I would still come to watch them play and stick my head in at practice.”
Slated to teach health and physical education classes for LA, she received her bachelor’s degree in physical education at Campbell University and was awarded her master’s in education administration from Lipscomb in 2008.
A native of Hanover, Pa., Myers was a two-time NFCA All-American Scholar-Athlete at Campbell and a two-time member of the Atlantic Sun All-Academic team.
Ryman will welcome two new pitchers, Heather Parker and Tanner Sanders to the staff for the upcoming season. Ashley Anderson will be back after a strong redshirt freshman season. Ryman knows the importance of making the right choice in a new pitching coach.
“That is a concern for me right now,” Ryman said. “We have to establish that part of our game again with two new pitchers coming in. Graduating somebody like Whitney doesn’t mean that Lipscomb is not known for its pitching any more. I think we absolutely can be.
“I think we’ve got three really good girls to be able to do that with. It is going to be important to find the right person that not only works well with me but that works well with our pitchers. It doesn’t matter what you know but how you get it across.”
Ryman doesn’t have a timetable for making a new hire.
“It can be really difficult to find a good pitching coach,” Ryman said. “We want to find somebody who understands what Lipscomb is all about and what the core values of our program are. We also need a great recruiter.
“We have been blessed to have the same pitching coach for six years. I’m glad Lexi was here for six years. She had a great approach and a great relationship with our players. She allowed us to have stability in our program. She has helped our program to be successful.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.