Katie Clemente (BA’12) came to Warner University as a transfer junior seeking a Christ-focused environment to continue her softball college career. A career that has lasted much longer than she first expected, with a slightly different position in the last four years, having become Head Coach.
Under Clemente’s leadership, Warner’s softball team has just come off of a historic season, claiming the Sun Conference regular season title and the Sun Conference Championships, then moving on to win the Lawrenceville Bracket, and finally finishing 1-2 in the NAIA World Series.
With all of these achievements, Clemente rightly earned 2017 Sun Conference Coach of the Year.
“This year has definitely been a milestone for each player, coach, and institution. My players worked and fought hard, giving me everything they had,” said Clemente. “God blessed us tremendously this year as always.”
So what was the key to the thrilling season?
Clemente with Assistant Coach Meagan Smith and senior players
“From the girls wearing the jersey, to the ones that weren’t able to play due to injuries, along with the coaching staff, we stuck together and had one another’s backs on every high and every low,” said Clemente. “Hard work, determination and focus have paid off.”
Graduating with a degree in Physical Education, Clemente says her favorite professors during her student years at Warner were Lori Hutto and Terry Fasel, while her favorite funny story came at the expense of canceled softball practices.
“When softball practices were canceled, most of the team dressed up in awful outfits and went sliding down dirt piles near the Oakley trucking property in the pouring rain with card board boxes,” said Clemente. “It’s one of those experiences you had to be there for, but surely something I can look back at and laugh.”
Transitioning from student-athlete to successful coach, Clemente has stuck by her alma mater and has enjoyed every minute of it.
“I have so many great and fond memories. I love the atmosphere at Warner, and really had the best time with my teammates as a student,” said Clemente.
“As a coach, I enjoy watching these young adults slowly being molded for what God wants to use them for.”
“It is just so neat to watch them grow and mature right in front of you as they prepare to go out into this crazy world.”
Congratulations to Katie Clemente and the rest of the softball team on an epic season. We wish them a rested summer and many more victories!