Marian College Athletic Director Doug Hammonds announced the hiring of Ann Felker as Head Softball Coach and Head Coach of the Women’s Golf team today (June 20).

Felker will take over the reigns from this year’s LMC Coach-of-the-Year in Becky Iaccino, who left the school in the past month to pursue her dreams of playing softball professionally. Iaccino is currently playing for SC Saronno, a professional team based in Milan, Italy.

Felker is no stranger to Marian College softball, as she was the Sabres head coach for the 2000 and 2001 seasons, and is essentially responsible for laying the groundwork for the success of the team the past four years. After just two winning seasons during the decade of the 1990’s, Felker put together back-to-back 22-win seasons and took the Sabres to the NCAA Tournament for the first time following the 2000 season.

“Ann started the success of the program and will be back to take it to the next level,” stated Marian College Athletic Director Doug Hammonds. “She is a great asset to have on our staff and will be a mentor and role model for the ladies in the softball program.” Her reputation in the Lake Michigan Conference was a great one, as her peers voted her LMC Coach-of-the-Year both of those seasons.

There wasn’t much that she did not accomplish in those two seasons, as her overall winning percentage of .603 is the best all-time in the program history and her Lake Michigan Conference mark of 22-2 (.917 winning %) is impressive as well. Her teams started the current run of four straight NCAA Tournament appearances, winning two LMC regular season crowns and two LMC tournament titles in the process. In addition, her squads boasted two straight LMC Player-of-the-Years, two straight LMC Rookie-of-the-Years, and eight First Team All-LMC selections.

“I have been able to watch the program continue to grow and be successful over the past two years,” commented Ann, when asked what coming back means to her. “[It] means that I have the opportunity to do many of the things I enjoy most. I enjoy building a team (family) atmosphere. I enjoy watching athletes grow and mature into adults on and off the field. I enjoy the thrill of the game, and watching a team develop over a season.” That list did not stop there for Felker. “Most of all, I enjoy being able to make a difference in the life of individuals as all my coaches did for me.”

This season will be special for the team as well, as they will get to move into their new field in the spring. Smith Fields – after an extra year delay due to unforeseen circumstances – will be ready to go for the Sabres in 2004. With four straight NCAA appearances, the team will look to take the step to the next level. There will be many goals for the new field boss. “My goal every year is to improve on the year before, with the ultimate goal being winning a National Championship,” continued Ann. “The girls have built a winning program and tradition by believing they can achieve anything together as a team. Through hard work and determination our goal will be to improve on last season, taking each game one at a time, pitch by pitch. The end result should be a very positive one.”

Felker will begin her duties at the school on June 27, 2003.

---Provided by Marian College Sports Information Department---

--June 20, 2003--