After an extensive search, Sewanee Athletic Director Mark Webb has announced that Merritt Yackey will become the new softball coach for the Tigers.
"Coach Yackey brings outstanding experience and enthusiasm to our softball program," said Webb. "I am confident that our softball team will make great strides under his leadership."
Yackey comes to the Domain after spending the last seven seasons as the head softball coach at Lees-McRae College.
Yackey took the reins of the Bobcat softball program in the summer of 2009. Over the last seven seasons, a number of players were selected as Conference Carolinas All-Conference Team. In 2011, Yackey was named Conference Carolinas Coach of the Year. During that season, the Bobcats finished second in the Conference Carolinas Tournament, losing 2-1 to Erskine College in the title contest.
Overall, during Yackey's tenure, Lees-McRae won 95 games.
"I am grateful to Sewanee, Mark Webb and the Athletic Department for the opportunity to serve as the next head softball coach," said Yackey. "My tenure at Lees-McRae has prepared me well for this new challenge. I look forward to coaching the young ladies on the roster and recruiting a new class to re-energize the softball program and work toward competing for a conference championship as was accomplished a decade ago."
His 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 teams were awarded the Sportsmanship Award. That award is given using a voting process implemented by Conference Carolinas Athletic Directors, which calls for a coach and student-athlete representative to vote together and evaluate the sportsmanship exhibited by opponents' players, coaches and fans during the regular season.
In April of 2013, Yackey was awarded the Edgar Tufts Humanitarian Service Award for service in community and campus at Lees-McRae College.
In addition, Yackey has served as the Associate Director of Athletics for the past five years. These duties include scheduling all athletic travel, personnel management, assistance with fundraising efforts and special projects within the Bobcat athletic department and its 17 intercollegiate sports.
Yackey brings over 25 years of experience in higher education. He was Director of Development/Special Giving at Albion College from 1988-1993, Director of Development at Converse College from 1995-1996, Director of Major Gifts and Planned Giving at Catawba College from 1997-2000, Special Assistant to the President/Campaign Director at Limestone College from 2000-2002, Vice President for Development at Mansfield University from 2002-2004 and Vice President for Advancement at Lees-McRae College from 2004-2007. Yackey also served as the head softball coach at local Avery High School in 2008 and 2009.
Yackey is a graduate of Muskingum University in New Concord, Ohio.
Additionally, he earned a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership from Western Michigan University. He and his wife are the proud parents of three children; Millicent, Morgan, and Brock, one son-in-law; John, one grandson; Mitt and one granddaughter; Aubrey.