Ellen Renfroe Reed goes from the circle, to the coaches box

MCKENZIE, Tenn. — On Wednesday morning, Bethel University announced Ellen Renfroe Reed as its new head softball coach. A moment, Renfroe Reed didn’t see coming this fast.

“Honestly I kind of went into it not really thinking that I would get the job, more of just like let’s apply and see what happens and go from there,” Renfroe Reed said.

Now the Wildcats will get a coach who knows a thing or two about winning, racking up more than 330 wins at TCA, the University of Tennessee, and playing two years in the National Pro Fastpitch League. Renfroe Reed knew staying in softball was her calling.

“Completely removing myself from softball was never an option, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in softball, whatever that looked like,” Renfroe Reed said.

Renfroe Reed would spend two seasons as an assistant coach with the University of Memphis, before taking a leap of faith. Not knowing what job openings were out there, she and her husband prepared to go anywhere.

“Whether that was in West Tennessee, whether that was in East Tennessee, Middle Tennessee, wherever my husband and I felt like the lord wanted us to be, that’s where we were going to go,” Renfroe Reed said.

Now that she has her team, this new coach knows the first thing that needs to be done in order to have a successful program.

“Getting to know your players, and forming that relationship with them to where they know that when you push them, it’s out of love, it’s not because you’re trying to demean them in any way, so that’s probably going to be one of the biggest things I try to do right off the bat,” Renfroe Reed said.