Bethel College Athletic Director, Jody Martinez announced today that Anna Welsh has resigned from her positions of Assistant Athletic Director and Head Softball Coach effective June 30 and has accepted the same positions at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Fla. Welsh will remain with the Pilots for the entire 2012 season.
In her seven years at the helm of the Pilots, Welsh has compiled a record of 304-81-1 while leading Bethel to five consecutive trips to the NAIA National Championship tournament. The Pilots have won the Mid-Central College Conference regular season title in five out of the seven years she has coached. During her time at Bethel, Welsh has coached 10 NAIA All-Americans, 32 MCC All-Conference winners, four MCC Players of the Year, four MCC Pitchers of the Year, and the NAIA career all-time homerun leader in Katie Boocher, who blasted 58 career round trippers.
"This decision comes with mixed emotions," said Welsh when asked about her decision to leave Bethel. "Bethel has been home to me and my family for the past seven years. I am extremely proud of what my girls have been able to accomplish over that time, but more importantly I'm proud of the young women they have become and all they have done for others. I've been blessed to have several opportunities over the last few years because of the things my girls have accomplished, but none were good enough to take me away from the people who helped give me those opportunities. Despite my sadness in leaving my family at Bethel, I am extremely excited about what God has in store for me at Southeastern University."
The Pilots enter the 2012 season ranked No. 12 in the country and have high hopes on a successful season including goals of making a sixth straight trip to the NAIA National Championship.
"Although my future is at Southeastern, my present is with the Pilots," added Welsh. "When I came to Bethel I had a goal of winning a national championship, and now I have one last shot to do that with this group. I know this is an unexpected distraction, but this team has the talent to be as good as they want to be."
Welsh will remain with Bethel though the 2012 season and will run summer camps in the month of June before departing for Lakeland, Fla.
"I am confident that Anna will finish strong here at Bethel," said Martinez. "Dr. Dennis Engbrecht (Senior Vice-President) and I trust Anna and Jeff to maintain the competitive spirit in the softball team as they head into this softball season. Anna and her husband have been given a great opportunity professionally at Southeastern University for the next school year. Not only is Bethel College losing an outstanding head coach in Anna, but we are also losing an outstanding assistant coach and sports information director in Jeff. It has been a great journey working with these two young coaches and I am excited for their family and their future."
A national search for Welsh's replacement will be announced soon.