As both the head coach of the women’s softball team and an alumna of Kenyon, Erin O’Neill ’02 has a long history of involvement with athletics on the hill. During her undergraduate years, O’Neill became one of the best softball players in Kenyon history as well as one of the best women’s basketball players. After several other coaching jobs, including two seasons as an assistant for the women’s basketball program, O’Neill became the head coach of the softball program in 2011. We contacted Coach O’Neill to learn a little more about her.
When did you become interested in coaching softball?
I always wanted to be a coach. Even when I was in college and high school, I would coach younger kids. My plan was to be a teacher so I could coach, but when I found out I could be a college coach I thought, “Sign me up!!!”
How did you get involved with coaching at Kenyon?
After college I coached at the high school level and then got a Graduate Assistant position at John Carroll…I coached softball in exchange for going to grad school there. Then I came back to Kenyon as the assistant basketball coach for 2 years and then got my first Head Softball coaching position at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. I thought I would spend most, if not all, of my coaching career there. But when the position at Kenyon opened, I was so excited because it is my dream job. To coach at the school I graduated from is amazing. I just love Kenyon and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
What’s your favorite part of being a coach at Kenyon?
Any moments that stand out from your career here?
So many amazing moments…but I am going to go with the most recent…Liz Paterra singling to right field, Nicole Horita sacrifice bunting her over all the way to third, and Amanda Coyle hitting a sacrifice fly to center to score Liz and beat Witt [Wittenberg] in the bottom of the ninth on senior day. It was an amazing moment, but what was even cooler was the pure joy and happiness that each of the ladies on the team enjoyed with one another in that moment. We have a picture of them leaving the field together, and it is just awesome. It captures the moment perfectly.
What was your favorite childhood TV show?
Some people say I have horrible taste in TV, but I disagree. I loved Full House, Who’s the Boss?, Saved by the Bell, Party of Five… anything with a little cheesy factor.