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App State Names Hoerner Head Softball Coach

Appalachian State University Director of Athletics, Doug Gillin, named Shelly Hoerner head softball coach on Friday. Hoerner brings 18 years of head coaching experience with over 500 career wins to the App State program.

“We’re looking forward to the experience and excitement Shelly will bring to the program at Appalachian State. I would like to thank the search committee, chaired by Jonathan Reeder, for their work,” said Gillin. “After a national search, Shelly’s success as a coach, in addition to her reputation as a leader, made her a natural fit for App State. I am thrilled to welcome Shelly, Jeff, and Meeka May to the Appalachian State family.”

Hoerner comes to App after a four-year stint as Head Coach at Georgia Tech, where she earned her 500th career win in 2016. At Tech, her team had the highest GPA in the athletic department in 2016 and 2017, averaging over a 3.2 all four years. Hoerner coached the Yellow Jackets to four wins over nationally-ranked opponents, with three Yellow Jackets earning All-ACC honors. 

Prior to Georgia Tech, Hoerner compiled a record of 254-206 at the College of Charleston, including a 105-72 mark in Southern Conference play. Named the Southern Conference Coach of the Year in 2007, she led the Cougars to a record of 37-20 overall, 15-8 in the Southern Conference.

From 2000-05, Hoerner was the head coach at Barry University, compiling an overall record of 191-82. She led Barry to Sunshine State Conference championships in 2002 and 2003, and was named the conference’s Coach of the Year in both seasons. In 2002, she led Barry to a regional title and was selected as Regional Coach of the Year.

Hoerner began her head coaching career at Valdosta State, where she coached one season (2000). She first embarked on her coaching career as an assistant coach at Barry from 1996-99.

Prior to joining the coaching ranks, Hoerner was an outstanding player on the collegiate level. In two years at Barry (1993-94), the Buccaneers won 80 games. An all-conference selection, Hoerner helped Barry advance to the NCAA Division II College Softball World Series. In her two seasons at Barry, she struck out just six times in 224 at bats while scoring 41 runs and collecting 30 RBI.

Following the 1994 season she transferred to Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y., where she ranks among the school’s all-time leaders in fielding percentage and stolen bases. In 1995, Hoerner led the Golden Griffins to a 28-14 mark, 11-1 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, and records of 33-7 and 11-1 in 1996. Canisius won the MAAC title in both years and Hoerner was a two-time all-conference selection.

Hoerner also gained professional playing experience in 1998 when she signed with Cavigal Nice Sports, a team in Nice, France. She played catcher and helped guide the team to a fifth-place finish in the European Championships.

A 1996 graduate of Canisius, Hoerner also holds a Master’s degree from Barry in 2003. Hoerner and husband, Jeff, were married in 1999, and have a daughter, Meeka May.

Statement from Coach Hoerner…

“I would like to thank Director of Athletics Doug Gillin for this incredible opportunity to rebuild and lead the App State program. The vision he has for the athletic department mirrors what I was looking for. Jonathan Reeder and the entire search committee have been terrific through this process and very welcoming. I am excited to lead this program with passion and purpose, and will provide the necessary structure and support to help our student-athletes be successful on the field, in the classroom and in the community. The young women will be prepared for life after they graduate from App State. I look forward to bringing a family atmosphere to this program along with engaging our alumni and their families. We will work as one unit to establish a championship mentality and elevate App State Softball in the Sun Belt Conference.”


“Coach Hoerner will bring a lot of game experience to the program at App. State. She is a coach that also truly cares about the student-athlete and their collegiate experience. I feel like this is a great fit for Coach Hoerner and App State.”

– Ken Erickson, Team USA Head Coach, South Florida Head Coach

“She was my first-ever recruit at Barry, and through her infectious personality we’ve been able to remain friends. It has been fun to follow her career and I’m excited to see what she will do at App State. She knows the game very well and is going to make some things happen for the program.”

– Lisa Navas, Associate Head Coach, University of South Carolina

“Shelly is a wonderful person and leader. She has a terrific personality and a passion for the game. She will do great things for Appalachian State’s program.”

– Bobby Cremins, Legendary College Basketball Coach

“Shelly has great experience playing and coaching at some outstanding programs. She’s knowledgeable and works to get the best out of her players. She does it right and is concerned about the person as well as the athlete.”

– Mike Rappi, Former Canisius Head Coach