After serving as an assistant coach for the Kenyon softball team for the last two years, Emily McDonough is leaving the position to take a job as an enrollment advisor at Davis & Elkins College. There is no word yet of a new assistant coach.
“It will allow me to be closer to loved ones,” McDonough wrote in an email to the Collegian. “I’m looking forward to seeing how a different college departments operate and learning more about the admissions process so I can make a positive impact on those making such an important choice in life.”
McDonough has loved softball for as long as she can remember, playing throughout her childhood and in college at St. Bonaventure University. Her enjoyment of the sport soon led her to a career in coaching. Before coming to Gambier, McDonough coached for two years at Southern Vermont College.
“My time at Kenyon was amazing,” McDonough said. “It is a period of time I will always look back [on] in such a positive light.”
In her time as assistant coach, McDonough focused on improving the team’s base running. “She has a very aggressive mindset when it came to running the bases,” Pater recalled. McDonough contributed to a massive statistical improvement on the basepaths. Prior to the season’s abrupt end, the Ladies’ stolen bases per attempt were roughly the same, with an 87% success rate in 2019 versus 86% in 2020. However, they had already stolen 32 bases in 2020 in just 16 games — an average of two bases a game — compared to the 67 they stole in the 42 games they played in 2019.
The players on McDonough’s team said they will greatly miss her presence. “I was really struck by how warm and open she was,” wrote pitcher Emily Pater ’22 in an email to the Collegian. “She always made a huge effort to get to know everyone personally.” Ladies outfielder Samantha Goldenson ’23 added in her note to the Collegian, “Coach McDonough was always very patient and encouraging when we were learning something new during practice.”
One of McDonough’s favorite memories of Kenyon softball was going with the team to Florida for a tournament during one of their annual spring break trips. “It was memorable in so many ways,” McDonough said. “The team had several walk-off and come-from-behind victories over high-level opponents and the program got off to the best start in school history.”
Pater added that her favorite moment with McDonough was also during the team’s trip to Florida. “I rode in her van and we all had such a good time on the way to and from games,” Pater said. During the trip, the softball team went to a Minnesota Twins spring training game, which Goldenson remembers fondly.
Beyond the softball program, McDonough will miss Kenyon and its many charms. “I will miss the beauty of Kenyon, Middle Path in the fall, Wiggin Street Coffee, the Village Inn’s Beyond Burger, working in the KAC, and so much more,” she said.