KALAMAZOO -- WMU Director of Athletics Kathy Beauregard announced that Kathy Leitke has been selected as the new head coach of the Western Michigan University softball program.
Leitke, who comes to Kalamazoo from nearby Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor, becomes only the program's fourth head coach in its 24-year history. She replaces Kim Worden, who resigned in May after 13 seasons with the Broncos. In 1988, Leitke served as an assistant coach for the Broncos in Worden's first season at WMU.
"I am very familiar with the area and hope to use this as a solid recruiting base," Leitke said. "In addition, there is a need for national recruiting to be highly competitive in the Mid-American Conference and at the regional level."
At LMC, Leitke guided the Indians to a 312-167 (.651) record in nine seasons, including a National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Championship in 1993. Leitke's tenure also produced six Western Conference titles, five Region XII championships and five national tournament appearances.
Highly respected in her profession, Leitke was named NJCAA and National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Coach of the Year in 1993. She was tabbed the regional coach of the year five times, conference coach of the year on four occasions and NFCA East Region Coach of the Year three times.
Prior to taking over the head coaching post at LMC in 1991, Leitke served as both an assistant coach (1988-91, 1985-87) and assistant director of intercollegiate athletics (1988-91) at the school. In 1991, Leitke was also named the college's director of athletics. While serving as an assistant, the Indians claimed five league titles, four region championships and made four national tournament appearances.
"We are pleased with the addition of a quality individual like Kathy to our coaching staff," Beauregard said. "She brings a wealth of experience and success to the Broncos, along with the proven ability to compete at the national level."
Leitke's hiring will become official following approval from the Board of Trustees.