MACOMB, Ill. - Western Illinois softball head coach Holly Van Vlymen announced the hiring of Kevin Welch as assistant coach. Welch will assist in all areas of coaching and recruiting but will focus on offense, infield and catching instruction.
"I have known Kevin for some time now and am thrilled that he will be joining our coaching staff," Van Vlymen said. "Kevin comes to us with great Division I experience with hitting, catching and infield and will coach our student-athletes with passion and enthusiasm. His knowledge and coaching strategies will be a huge asset to our program. I know Kevin will be a great fit with our program and in the community."
Welch comes to Western following a one-year stint as the assistant at Maine, where he served as the team's hitting coach. He helped the Blackbears finish fourth in the America East Conference and return to the AEC postseason tournament after missing out in 2010.
He also spent time as a hitting instructor at The Cage in Eldridge, Iowa (2010-present), a coaching consultant at Durant High School (2007-present) and a personal instructor for baseball and softball players in the Quad City area (2005-present).
Prior to Maine, Welch was the assistant at Northern Illinois for six years (1999-2005). In 2000, the Huskies were regular season MAC champions and the staff was named Coaching Staff of the Year. In 2003, the team set a single season record for homeruns with 27 and had 11 student-athletes hit over .300 on the year. Welch served as the third base coach in 2002, 2003 and 2005 and called pitches in 2001, 2003 and 2004. He also served as the pitching coach in 2000.
Welch also gained Division I assistant coaching experience at Loyola (1998-1999) and Butler (1997-1998) following two years of coaching at the high school level in Davenport, Iowa. In addition, Welch has extensive clinic and strength and conditioning experience.
"It is an honor and privilege to be able to become an assistant softball coach at Western Illinois," Welch said. "I have known Holly as a player and a coach, she is a winner, and I am looking forward to being on her staff with. When I met with both of them I could tell that they are great, hard working coaches, but more importantly first class people."
The Fighting Leathernecks begin the fall season on Sunday (September 23) in double header action against Sauk Valley Community College. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. at Mary Ellen McKee Stadium in Macomb, Ill.