Shelly Hoerner begins her seventh season as the head coach of the College of Charleston softball program following a five-year tenure in the same position at Division II Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida. An extremely accomplished coach and player in her own right, Hoerner, brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Cougars.
HEAD COACHING EXPERIENCE
Upon her hiring on September 13, 2005, then College of Charleston athletic director Jerry Baker stated that “We are very excited to have someone with the experience of Shelly Hoerner join the College of Charleston family. I know our student-athletes will benefit greatly under her leadership”. And so they have.
Since joining the staff, Hoerner has led the Cougars to a 180-163 overall record, a 76-55 Southern Conference mark, a SoCon Tournament runner up finish, three regular season runner-up finishes. She has coached 10 First-Team and 14 Second-Team All-Southern Conference selections as well as five All-Tournament performers.
Following the 2007 season, she was named Southern Conference Coach of the Year while senior Jennifer Golden was named Conference Player of the Year. In 2009, she coached her second Player of the Year in Kristie Shifflett who also became only the second Cougar ever to be named NFCA First-Team All-South Region and the first under Hoerner. Most recently, she coached her first Pitcher of the Year in Alexa Datko who also went on to be named NFCA First-Team All-South Region.
In 2006 during her first season, she successfully took a team which had went 53-18 a year before, but lost the program leader in wins and an entire pitching staff, and guided them to a 14-7 record and runner-up finish in the Southern Conference. The following season produced an identical 14-7 record and second-place finish in the Conference but with a 34-26 overall record. That total was one win behind champion Chattanooga and was the fewest losses of any team in the conference. The .567 overall winning percentage was the best among Southern Conference teams.
In 2008, the College of Charleston went 33-33 overall and 12-8 in conference while playing an extremely competitive schedule. That slate included trips to tournaments at SEC foes Georgia and Florida – a 2008 College World Series participant and 2009 preseason No. 1 – and PAC-10 power Stanford. The Cougars also faced off against Marshall, DePaul, North Carolina, Tennessee Tech and Texas Tech. Charleston also notched a pair of victories in the Southern Conference Tournament for the first time since winning it all in 2005.
In 2009, the Cougars were 23-26 overall but notched their third runner-up finish in four years as they went 14-9 in Southern Conference play. Charleston went 10-3 down the stretch, including 8-1 in the conference, to claim the No. 2 seed in the Southern Conference Tournament. Those conference victories featured back-to-back series sweeps of Elon and UNC Greensboro and a series victory over three-time defending, and eventual tournament champion, Chattanooga.
The 2011 campaign saw the Cougars finish the regular season in fourth place and finish the year 16 games above .500 at 37-21. After an opening-round loss in the SoCon Softball Championships, the Cougars made a spirited run to rattle off four straight wins and land in the championship game.
Prior to coming to the College of Charleston, Hoerner was the head coach at NCAA Division II Barry University from 2001-05. During her tenure at the helm of the Buccaneers, the program reached the NCAA Tournament twice, finishing fifth in the 2002 Division II College Softball World Series, and compiled a 191-82 overall record. Hoerner coached one NFCA/NCAA Player of the Year, four NFCA All-Americans, an NFCA Division II Finals All-Tournament performer and nine All-South Region Tournament selections.
Additionally, she coached nine All-South Region selections, 18 All-Sunshine Conference performers and two-time SSC Pitcher of the Year Geralyn Elam. In 2002 she was named NFCA Division II South Region Coach of the Year and claimed the honor for the Sunshine State Conference in 2002 and 2003.
Those seasons marked the pinnacle of Hoerner’s time at Barry as the Buccaneers went 44-15 and finished fifth in the Division II NCAA College Softball World Series in 2002 and set a program record with a 52-10 overall record and 26-2 SSC mark on their way to a berth in the NCAA South Regional.
In 2000, she was the head coach at Division II Valdosta State after three years as an assistant at Barry and led a primarily freshman roster to a 14-38 overall record and nearly to a berth in the Gulf South Conference Tournament.
ASSISTANT COACHING EXPERIENCE
On July 14, 2005, Hoerner went back to the assistant coaching ranks when she accepted a position at North Carolina State under her former head coach at Barry University, Lisa Navas. Two months later, she accepted the College of Charleston’s offer to become the fourth head coach in the program’s history.
She began her coaching career at Barry from 1997-99 as an assistant coach for the Buccaneers. As an assistant, she was part of three straight Division II NCAA Tournament teams, including a runner-up finish in the College Softball World Series in 1998.
Over the course of those three years, she coached two-time NFCA All-America Stephanie Caldwell, three College World Series All-Tournament selections, seven South Region All-Tournament choices and six All-South Region selections. In the Sunshine State Conference, she coached 19 All-Conference choices, two Players of the Year and two Freshman of the Year.
Barry went 126-45 over that time, including back-to-back 44 win seasons in 1998 and 1999 and a 37-15 overall record and 24-4 mark in the SSC in 1997.
COLLEGIATE EXPERIENCE: BARRY UNIVERSITY AND CANISIUS COLLEGE
Hoerner began her collegiate playing career at Barry University from 1993-94 and helped lead the Bucs to a 38-13 overall record and SSC mark of 18-6 as a freshman and records of 42-13 and 23-5 as a sophomore. Following the 1993 season, she was named to the All-Sunshine State Conference Team. In 1994, the Buccaneers not only qualified for the Division II NCAA Tournament, they won four of five games in the South Regional to advance to the College Softball World Series where they would finish in fifth place. Over her two years, she scored 41 runs, drove in 30 and only struck out six times in 224 at bats. Following the 1994 season, Hoerner transferred to Division I Canisius College in Buffalo, New York.
In 1995, she helped the Golden Griffins to a 28-14 overall record and 11-1 mark in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and 33-7 and 11-1 records as a senior. Both seasons, Canisius won the MAAC Championship and reached an NCAA Tournament Play-In Game before falling to Massachusetts and Princeton, respectively. Hoerner earned All-MAAC honors both years.
She still appears numerous times in the Golden Griffins career record book with the highest fielding percentage (.993) and is tied for eighth in stolen bases (35) and is tied for 12th in sacrifice hits (20). Four of her single season marks also still stand with 18 stolen bases in 1996 (T-4th), 17 stolen bases in 1995 (T-6th), a .995 fielding percentage as a junior (T-2nd) and .991 fielding percentage as a senior (T-8th).
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: CAVIGAL NICE SPORTS
Hoerner also gained both professional and world experience in 1998 when she signed with Cavigal Nice Sports, a semi-pro team in Nice, France, during the summer of 1998. She played catcher and helped guide the club to a fifth-place finish in the highly competitive European Championships.
A graduate of Canisius College, Hoerner earned a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education in 1996 and a Master’s degree in Sport Management from Barry University in 2003. Formerly Shelly Lis, she married her husband Jeff Hoerner in 1999.