Dr. Coleman’s legacy as RMU’s softball coach


Kyle Gorcey

RMU athletic director and softball head coach Dr. Craig Coleman is leaving RMU Athletics on Dec. 7th.

Delenn Poe, Contributor

MOON TOWNSHIP– After coaching the softball team and being the athletic director for Robert Morris, Dr. Craig Coleman has decided to step down from both positions at the end of the semester. Coleman started coaching the Robert Morris women’s softball team in 1991. During his 28 years as head coach, the Colonials had an overall record of 684-647-5 (.514), including a record of 295-140-2 (.677) against NEC opponents.

In 1994, Robert Morris received its first national ranking in school history, when the Colonials were ranked at No. 23 in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) poll. The team participated in the NCAA Tournament Play-In-Series twice in 1994 and 1998, and appeared in the NCAA Tournament in 2005.

When he took command of the team, the team only had 19 victories in the three previous seasons. In his first four years as coach, Coleman led the team to an overall record of 119-62, a .657 win percentage, and won four straight NEC championship titles from 1991-94. As he continued to coach, the Colonials won eight NEC regular-season championships and six NEC Tournament titles in his entire tenure.

In 2014, Coleman won his 600th career game when the Colonials earned a 10-0 victory in six innings in the first game of a doubleheader, which they split with Mount St. Mary’s, on April 6th. Even though the team gave Coleman that exciting win, they struggled that season as they only won 12 total games.

In the last four seasons, the Colonials have been hit or miss in terms of winning with last season being one of their worst with only 10 wins. In those four seasons, the squad has been young with few upperclassmen and experienced players. The team remains young this season with 18 total players. Only three of those 18 players are seniors and four of them are juniors.

Coleman’s success as head softball coach has come not only on the field, but also in the classroom. His players were awarded 18 Capital One District II Academic All-Americans, six NEC Scholar-Athletes of the Year for softball and numerous NEC Academic Honor Roll selections during his tenure.

Robert Morris has not decided who will replace Coleman permanently in either position he held. The next season for the softball will start early in 2019 and assistant coach Jexx Varner will be the interim head coach. Coleman leaves with a legacy of bringing a losing program to a successful and competitive squad.