SOFTBALL: VanBrocklin steps down as head softball coach at LeTourneau
LONGVIEW – Mike VanBrocklin has stepped down from his position as LeTourneau's head coach softball coach, the school announced Friday. VanBrocklin had been the school's head coach for three seasons.
A search committee has been formed to look for VanBrocklin's successor as head softball coach.
"This was a decision I did not take lightly," VanBrocklin said. "It is something I have been thinking about for a while and it just feels like the right time to step away."
VanBrocklin will continue to work at LeTourneau as Assistant Director of Admissions where he has worked since graduating from LETU in 2004. He joined the softball program as an assistant coach in 2007 and took over head coaching duties in 2009.
"It was really starting to become a grind," VanBrocklin said. "Working two full-time jobs and trying to maintain my marriage and family was becoming too difficult."
VanBrocklin leaves a program that is on the rise in the American Southwest Conference. He is the program's all-time leader in wins with all-time record of 51-62 and guided the team to its first winning season in school history after the Jackets finished 2011 with a record of 22-18.
VanBrocklin also guided the team to some of the biggest wins in the program's history. In 2010, the Yellow Jackets knocked off East Texas Baptist, the eventual NCAA Division III National Champion. This year, they took another game from ETBU, a team that won the ASC Tournament, and swept a doubleheader from UT-Tyler, the current NCAA Division III regional champion and participant in the College World Series.
"Mike has done an incredible job with the softball program," said Deike. "Under his leadership, the program has experienced success it had not previously reached. He has raised the standard of LeTourneau softball under his tenure.
"The LeTourneau athletics department thank him for all his hard work and what he accomplished and we wish him the best in his future endeavors."
In his three years at the helm, VanBrocklin's teams have rewritten the school record books, setting new marks for earned run average, wins, shutouts, strike outs, opponent batting average, batting average, runs, hits, doubles, home runs, runs batted in, total bases, slugging percentage, walks, hit by pitches, on base percentage, sacrifice flies, sacrifice hits and fielding percentage.
Over the past two seasons, VanBrocklin has recruited and coached two First Team All-ASC East players, seven Second Team members and three Honorable Mention awardees. He has seen Christen Mickelboro earn the ASC East Sportsmanship Award one season after becoming the first player in school history to be an All-American when she was named Second Team by the NFCA in 2010. She is also a two-time First Team All-Region performer as well as a Capital One Academic All-District VI selection this year.