Liz Kelly is in her second season as the head coach of the Lindenwood softball team in 2018. Kelly has coaching experience at the International, NCAA Division I, and NCAA Division II levels, and will be starting her 19th season as a NCAA head coach.
Kelly has won 444 games as a collegiate head coach during a career which includes stops at Lindenwood, Maryville University, University of California, Santa Barbara, Miami University, and West Alabama University. She has a 166-162 record at NCAA Division II programs, and has reached one national tournament.
In her first season at Lindenwood, Kelly started a quick turnaround for the program. The Lady Lions improved by six wins and played their best ball late in the season. Lindenwood had a winning record in April, including victories in eight of nine games at one point. Statistically, the offense averaged 0.30 runs a game more than the 2016 season, while the team’s ERA dropped by over 2.09 points.
Two players, both freshmen, earned all-conference honors at the end of the season. Off the field, 20 players earned MIAA Academic Honor Roll honors, five won the MIAA Academic Excellence Award, and one was a MIAA Scholar-Athlete.
Kelly came to Lindenwood after coaching four seasons at Maryville University. Last season, the Saints had their best season in program history, going 39-16 and making the NCAA Division II Tournament for the first time. The program had three wins over top-10 nationally-ranked programs, including No. 1 Indianapolis, and it advanced to the NCAA Midwest Region 2 Championship game.
Kelly won 86 games during her time at Maryville, and the team improved its number of wins in each season. She helped six Saints players earned all-conference honors, including three last season.
She coached at California, Santa Barbara from 1995-2001 and won 165 games, the most in program history at the time. Her top season came in 2000 when the Gauchos won 30 games and had a school-record 14 wins in the Big West Conference. Kelly was at Miami from 1989 to 1992 and won 113 games. Her squads had 30-win seasons in both 1990 and 1991. Kelly won over 60 percent of her games at West Alabama in 1987 and 1988. She was named conference coach of the year both seasons and won the 1988 conference championship.
Kelly started her coaching career as an assistant at California State University, Chico, and has also been an assistant coach at the University of Toledo, Arizona State University, and the University of Nevada, Reno.
Kelly also has international experience, including being the national coach of the Netherlands softball team from 2005-2008. She led the Netherlands to an Olympic qualifying berth for the 2008 Olympic Games. Her teams also won two medals at the European Championships, including a runner-up finish in 2007, and she was selected as the Netherlands Softball Coach of the Year in 2007.
From 2003 to 2004, Kelly was a member of the Athens Olympic Organizing Committee as a Technical Operations Manager, and from 2008 to 2012, she worked at the International Softball Federation as the International Director of Seminars. Other softball experience includes working for a year as the Softball Technical Advisor for America’s Baseball Camps, and serving a year in Columbia, Mo. as the Director of Event Operations for the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA).
Kelly played collegiate softball at Utah State University, and was a member of the 1981 team that won the AIAW National Championship. She also lettered one year for the Utah State volleyball team. She was inducted into the Utah State Hall of Fame in 2012 as a member of that championship team, and is also a member of the Saratoga High School Hall of Fame.
Kelly graduated from Utah State with a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education/recreation. She earned her Master’s in public administration from California State University, Chico, and is a native of Saratoga, Calif.