Tyler, Texas (KTRE) - Two East Texas softball programs made announcements on Friday about new leadership for their programs.
TJC Press Release:
The TJC Athletic Department is proud to announce that Eric Henderson will be the third head coach in program history. Coach Henderson served as the Interim Head Coach for the 2019-20 season after spending the previous two on staff as the Assistant Coach.
"I would like to thank Dr. Juan Mejia, Dr. Tim Drain, and Kevin Vest for the opportunity to lead the TJC Softball program and be a part of this Apache athletics family," Henderson said. "I am excited to work with our student-athletes, athletic department, and many others to bring success on and off the field. The traditions, the continued academic and athletic success, and this community are special for many reasons and I look forward to contributing all I can for years to come."
Prior to the Spring 2020 season's premature ending, he led the Apaches to a 21-3 record and a #5 national ranking in the last poll at the beginning of March. In his two years as an assistant, the Apaches tallied a 113-23 record along with a Region XIV Championship, Region XIV Runner-Up, and two National Tournament appearances.
"While facing unprecedented challenges over the course of the last several months, Coach Henderson has demonstrated the leadership abilities and commitment to the success of student-athletes, our athletic department, and the College in a manner that proudly reflects the core values of Tyler Junior College," TJC Athletic Director Kevin Vest said.
Prior to coming to Tyler, Henderson spend three and half years as a softball assistant at Weatherford College while amassing a 133-53 record and a Region V Conference Championship. As a student-athlete, he pitcher in the baseball program at Cisco College (2004-06) in Region V before advancing to pitch at West Texas A&M University (2006-08).
“I am confident under his leadership we will continue to build on the foundation laid by Coach Nicole Dickson and Coach Maria Winn-Ratliff and grow our softball program, on and off the field, into the premier junior college softball program in the country,” said Vest.
Kilgore College Release:
Kilgore College has named Trish Robinson as interim head softball coach for the 2020-21 season, taking over for Leslie Messina who left the program in May for personal reasons.
Robinson has served as an assistant softball coach for KC since 2016.
“First off, I’d like to thank to Dr. Brenda Kays (president), Dr. Mike Jenkins (vice president) and Jimmy Rieves (athletic director) for giving me this opportunity,” Robinson said. “Kilgore College has been a second family to me for the last four years, and I have worked alongside the best and learned what it takes to be a successful head coach.”
Robinson said she is ready “to hit the ground running” with recruiting and is ready to give back to the community that has invested so much in the college.
“Through my passion and dedication, I will help student-athletes graduate and move on to the next level,” Robinson said. “I am excited about the future of this program and what we will achieve.”
Before KC, Robinson was assistant softball coach for the Trinity Valley Community College Cardinals.
Robinson, a native of Sugar Land, is a 2005 graduate of Dulles High School and a 2007 graduate of The University of Texas at Dallas where she earned a degree in psychology. She was also a two-year member for the UT-Dallas softball team.
After graduation from UT-Dallas, Robinson was a graduate assistant for the Comets (American Southwest Conference).
Prior to UT-Dallas, Robinson spent two years at Alvin Community College where she earned an associate’s degree and played softball for the Dolphins.