‘World Series experience’ -- Michigan State University’s new softball coach

Sharonda MacDonald-Kelley
Sharonda MacDonald-Kelley(WILX)
Published: Jun. 10, 2022 at 12:40 PM EDT
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Michigan State University is adding major talent to it’s softball team.

In a statement sent Friday, Vice President and Director of Athletics Alan Haller announced who will be stepping into the head coaching role following the retirement of long-time Michigan State head coach Jacquie Joseph, who guided the team for 29 seasons..

“Bringing Women’s College World Series experience to East Lansing, Sharonda McDonald-Kelley has been named head softball coach at Michigan State,” Haller said. “She’s experienced great success as both a coach and a student-athlete, and has a plan to help Spartan softball achieve similar results. She is a teacher of the game, with a proven track record of skill development, helping student-athletes maximize their potential as she did during her record-breaking college career.”

Read: MSU assistant basketball coach retires after 40 years of coaching, 22 with Spartans

MacDonald-Kelly has experience at several successful major Division 1 programs, as well as back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances as head coach at Campbell.

When she was in charge of the Campbell program, she had a 101-81 record over the last four seasons, winning Big South tournament titles with the Camels in 2021 and 2022. McDonald-Kelley’s teams went 50-19 in Big South play and advanced to NCAA Regionals in each of the last two seasons, marking two of the five times a Campbell team has reached the NCAA Tournament since 1986.

In 2021, McDonald-Kelley was named Big South Coach of the Year after her team won both the Big South regular season and tournament titles.

“I want to thank God for this incredible opportunity,” McDonald-Kelley said. “I would also like to thank Vice President and Director of Athletics Alan Haller for the opportunity to lead the Michigan State softball program. The vision for the softball program and the investment into that vision was clear to me from the beginning.”

McDonald-Kelley played professionally for seven years, spending time with the Philadelphia Force, the Akron Racers and the USSA Pride of the NPF League. McDonald-Kelley played for Fiorini Softball Club of the Italian Professional League in 2009. A three-time All-NPF selection during her professional career, McDonald garnered the prestigious Diamond Spikes Award in 2012 after hitting .303 with 13 stolen bases for the Racers.

She says she’s excited to become a Spartan.

“I could feel the pride ingrained in the culture of Michigan State athletics and know I will have the full support of the administration,” MacDonald-Kelley said. “Core values and family are very important to me. My family and I are excited to embrace the Spartan culture and become part of the community.”

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