Kathy Riley retires from Longwood

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Kathy Riley has retired as the head coach at Longwood, the school announced on  Friday morning.

Riley spent twenty-three seasons as the Lancers’ head coach, collecting more than 700 career wins during her tenure leading the program. The Longwood softball program never finished a season with a record below .500 under her guidance, and reached the NCAA tournament five times in the last decade.

Shepherding the program through the reclassification process from Division II to Division I in the mid-2000s, Riley was named the Division I Independent Coach of the Year in 2005. She owns three Big South Coach of the Year honors, earning the award in 2015, ’16, and ’19.

In a statement released on Friday, Longwood athletic director Michelle Meadows said, “Throughout her career, Kathy has left an indelible mark on the lives of countless student-athletes, colleagues and Longwood athletics through her passion for developing leaders and her insatiable drive for excellence in competition, academics and service. The success of the softball program under Kathy’s leadership extends well beyond the remarkable record and conference championships to include stellar graduation rates and a lineage of student-athletes equipped to leave their mark as true citizen leaders. I am deeply grateful for the impact she has made and the legacy she has left on us all.  We wish her the very best in her retirement and know she will continue to leave her mark in the lives of others.”

Earlier this week, Riley was named as the Big South Coach of the Decade for the 2010s. The Lancers placed six players on the team, including legendary slugger Megan Baltzell and 2-time Big South Pitcher of the Year Elizabeth McCarthy.

In mid-February, Riley took a leave of absence from the program that was to stretch through the remainder of the 2020 season.

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