Women’s softball head coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly didn’t plan to become a coach at first. Before her time at Ohio State, she received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.
“I just took the opportunity to go to graduate school for free and coach,” Schoenly said.
However, once she was involved, Schoenly said she was excited by the whole profession.
“It’s been a while now. I feel like I have some tremendous mentors to get me to this place in my career,” Schoenly said.
In the 4-2 victory against Ole Miss on Feb. 19, Schoenly recorded her 200th win at Ohio State. It was the team’s second win of the day and brought her career head coaching record to 389-276-2.
“I appreciate every win and I learned in my career that you have to appreciate the winning ‘cause the losing just is such a downer time, that you have to keep it all in perspective,” Schoenly said. “So, enjoy the moment that your team figures it out and you do a good job as a team.”
In her pitching career at Michigan, Schoenly earned 1995 NFCA First-Team All-American honors and Big Ten Pitcher of the Year in 1992 and 1995.
Coaching at Ohio State the past seven seasons after leaving Miami (Ohio) with a 188-153-1 record, Schoenly has found even more success than she did as a player.
Ohio State had a record of 36-16 in 2018, the program’s highest win total since 2010. Sixteen of her players have earned All-Big Ten or NFCA All-Midwest Region honors. She has led the Buckeyes to the regional round of the NCAA tournament each of the past three seasons.
In her seven years with the program, Ohio State has never finished with fewer than 30 wins in any season.
For senior catcher Emily Clark, Schoenly has been a driving force for the success of both her and the team.
“She puts everything into perspective,” Clark said. “She knows that we are going to make mistakes and we are not perfect. She does bring me energy and she is vocal when needs to be.”
This season, Schoenly said her team has a good mix of seniors and newcomers, and that it is “still developing that on-field identity.”
After all the achievements, and after breaking the 200-win barrier, Schoenly said she sees the improvement over the years as something that is equally important to the victories.
“I love the development of the team. Obviously winning is fine but seeing the girls develop as players is as rewarding as winning of games,” Schoenly said.