is honored with a Brick from Juanita L. Kirkhart.
Renae is one of many who are enjoying "Living a Dream" and she is loving every phase of her career as a coach. Because of her love for softball, she continues through her teaching, coaching and living to be a positive role model, guiding and teaching "on the field" skills as well as "off the field" skills. She strives to be a teacher of the game and of life while learning from experiences and those with whom she comes in contact.
Also known as Coach Kirkhart, or just Coach, Renae has been involved with sports in one way or another all her life. Her early years found her playing baseball in the back yard with Dad and two older brothers, Dennis and Larry, and then with younger sister, Cindy, until she was old enough to be on a summer softball team across town. Currently, summer of 1998, Renae is Head Coach of the Durham Dragons, Durham, NC, one of the six teams in the Women's Professional Fastpitch league--a new "league of their own." Quoting Renae, "There will be a sense of hopes and dreams becoming a reality for young players who are exposed to WPF." (www.womensprofastpitch.com)
Renae was one of the four co-coaches with the two all-star teams, Storm and Blaze, touring 20 cities in eight Midwest states, playing 16 exhibition games from June 15 to July 13, 1995. This proud mother was fortunate enough to be able to attend (with grandson, Ryan Kirkhart) the WPF's Exhibition Tour game in St. Paul MN on July 7, 1995, which "her" team, Storm, won in front of 4,307 excited fans. The Tour reached 40 million people via games, newspaper, television and radio. WPF held its first draft at its Minneapolis offices on October 31, 1995.
In 1997, Renae first joined the Durham Dragons as Assistant Coach at the historic Durham Bulls field, new home of the Durham Dragons, for the WPF's inaugural year. The season that had been in planning for more than eight years became a reality May 30, 1997, and this proud mother was among those filling that great stadium.
In 1996, Renae served on the Atlanta Committee of the Olympic Games as the Assistant Venue Manager of Operations for softball at Columbus GA.
Renae has coached softball at Trevecca Nazarene University, Nashville TN; Francis Marion College, Florence SC; Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma City OK; and Wichita State University, Wichita KS. However, the trip to Hawaii in 1990 for Nationals as coach of her volleyball team at Francis Marion, was an experience never to be forgotten by her as well as her mother.
At Wichita State University, Renae was a softball team player from 1979 to 1982 and Assistant Softball Coach from 1982 to 1986. We are grateful for her education and experiences at Wichita State University for a great coaching career.
Coach Kirkhart has served eight years as a NAIA National Softball Tournament Championship Committee Member and, in 1995, was the NAIA Women's Soccer Tournament Administrator. She served for six years as Tournament Assistant for the NCAA College World Series in Oklahoma City, and served as the Vice President for the NAIA-SCA Softball Executive Committee in 1997.
Coach Kirkhart also has conducted fastpitch clinics (pitching, catching, hitting, all positions) throughout the United States. Another experience was when Lisa Fernandez of the Olympic Gold USA Softball Team joined her in a coach/player Softball Clinic at Trevecca in 1997. Renae is a proud member of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.
Submitted by her mother, Juanita L. Kirkhart.
September 16, 1998