ECU hires Keylon-Randolph to coach softball
Published 8:52 pm Tuesday, October 23, 2012
GREENVILLE — Beth Keylon-Randolph, whose coaching resume includes over 600 victories, 10 conference titles, six coach-of-the-year selections and the 2012 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Championship, has been named head softball coach at East Carolina University according to an announcement from ECU Director of Athletics Terry Holland on Tuesday.
Keylon-Randolph becomes the fourth head coach in the 35-year history of the program. She will provide leadership to the Pirates after serving the last 12 seasons as head coach at Chattanooga State, where she also held the title of assistant athletics director since 2007 and served as the chairman of the Faculty Advisory Committee.
“I am honored to be afforded this opportunity to coach Pirate Softball,” Keylon-Randolph said. “I am so appreciative to Coach Holland and the administration for the belief that they have shown in me to be the coach that takes this program to new levels of success.
“The expectation of Pirate Softball is high and I love stepping into that type of challenge. My goal as a mentor is to provide the motivation and atmosphere that will produce the finest young women athletes that are number one in academics, number one on the field and outstanding citizens.”
In her 12 campaigns with the Tigers, Keylon-Randolph helped guide Chattanooga State to a 602-118 (.836) overall record and nine regional titles in addition to the run of conference championships. Since 2002, CSCC has won the Region VIII Tournament eight times and finished ranked in the Top 20 for 11 consecutive years, including No. 1 standings in 2009 and 2012.
The Tigers finished among the NJCAA’s Top 15 statistical leaders in hitting seven times during her tenure, including second in 2006. In the circle, her 2008 squad posted the lowest team ERA in the nation.
At Chattanooga State, Keylon-Randolph tutored 83 all-conference players, 23 NJCAA All-America selections, eight conference pitchers-of-the-year and five players-of-the-year. She also mentored eight student-athletes to NJCAA Distinguished Academic All-America status with more than 100 of her players earning all-academic region honors.
A six-time coach Region VII Coach-of-the-Year, Keylon-Randolph was selected as the 2012 NFCA (National Fastpitch Coaches Association) Karen L. Sykes Outstanding Coach of the NJCAA Tournament and provided direct oversight to assistants who earned 2012 NFCA Coaching Staff-of-the-Year honors.
“Coach Keylon-Randolph’s national championship last season is impressive, but even more noteworthy is the fact that her teams have consistently ranked in the Top Ten for over a decade,” Holland said. “During interviews with our search committee, Coach Keylon-Randolph presented her ‘Blueprint for Success for Pirate Softball’ with a contagious enthusiasm that is indicative of her love of the game she has played and coached so well.
“During the last few years, Coach Keylon-Randolph has had the opportunity to accept leadership roles at numerous Division I institutions, but the Pirates’ past success and outstanding facilities made ECU the place to pursue her dream of coaching a team to the NCAA Women’s World Series. We are pleased to welcome Coach Keylon-Randolph to our community and to East Carolina University.”
Internationally, she was selected as co-head coach of Team USA in 2007 and helped the squad to victories over Japan, Australia, China and the Czech Republic during the World University Games in Bangkok, Thailand.
She began her coaching career as an assistant at alma mater Tennessee Tech and played a role directing the Golden Eagles to an Ohio Valley Conference Tournament Championship. She was a part of the TTU staff for two seasons (1995-96) before accepting a position as an assistant coach at South Carolina in 1998.
While with the Gamecocks, Keylon-Randolph helped South Carolina to the 2000 Southeastern Conference Tournament title and consecutive NCAA Regional appearances in 1999 and 2000. She then spent the 2001 season as an assistant at Tennessee-Chattanooga, where she developed the Southern Conference Pitcher-of-the-Year and was part of the Mocs’ SoCon Tournament championship team.
An outstanding student-athlete, she was named the 1994 Tennessee Tech Female Athlete-of-the-Year as well as the Ohio Valley Conference Player and Pitcher-of-the-Year after leading the Golden Eagles to an undefeated regular season and conference championship. She was the first player in league history to win both honors concurrently. In the classroom, she was also a member of the OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll.
In the spring of 2004, Keylon-Randolph was selected to Tennessee Tech Softball’s Inaugural Wall of Fame and was inducted into the school’s Sports Hall of Fame. She graduated from the Cookeville institution with a degree in biology in 1995 – the same year she opened the KFA Softball Academy, where she has instructed over 2,500 young women in all aspects of softball skill instruction and development.
Keylon-Randolph and her husband, Scott, have two sons, Cole and Trey.
She replaces Tracey Kee, who was removed from the position by the University on Sept. 21 following an internal inquiry into program irregularities. Her departure ended a 16-year tenure as the Pirates’ head softball coach.