Cleveland State Athletics officially promoted assistant coach Steve Jaecks to head coach on Monday. Jaecks will take over the reigns for Katie Willingham, who stepped down after nine seasons at the helm this summer.
Jaecks will look to build on the great run the Lady Cougars have had over the last two seasons, as they finished runner-up in the TCCAA Tournament in 2018 and earned a spot in the semi-finals in 2019.
Well-respected in the softball world, Jaecks has over thirty years of both professional playing and coaching experience in softball.
He has been the assistant coach of the Lady Cougars for three seasons, joining the coaching staff in 2016. He previously served as the assistant coach and then interim head coach at East Carolina University in Greenville, S.C. for three years before coming to Cleveland State. Prior to working at ECU, Jaecks served as Athletic Director at Chattanooga State Community College for 13 years and assistant softball coach for eight years in 2012. He played a role in the Tigers' National Championship in 2012.
Jaecks is not only well-respected with the coaching and athletic administration world, but also within the playing world. He played softball for 25 years, winning the Chattanooga Player of the Year in 1986 in the Dixie Major Fast Pitch League while also earning multiple batting awards and MVP honors throughout his playing career. He also was able to play multiple defensive positions, serving as catcher, first baseman, second baseman, and outfielder in his career.
Jaecks is an Athletic Administration graduate of Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, Calif. He earned his Master's Degree in Education with an emphasis in Physical Education from the University of Tennessee: Chattanooga.
"I want to thank athletic director Mike Policastro along with Dr. Michael Stokes and Dr. Bill Seymour for the opportunity," Jaecks said. "I'm excited to serve as the head coach of Cleveland State softball."
Please join us in welcoming Steve Jaecks as the new Cleveland State Softball head coach!