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Fastpitch Coach: Q&A

Kerri Blaylock, Head Softball Coach, Southern Illinois University

Years at school: First as head coach after nine years as assistant to Kay Brechtelsbauer. Also was graduate assistant for two years at Southeast Missouri State University.

Other accomplishments: All-MCC (Mid-Continent Conference) pitcher at University of Evansville (1985, 1986, 1987 and 1988), MCC Player of the Year (1988), GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-American, first female inducted into her high school's hall of fame, first softball player inducted into University of Evansville Hall of Fame. Holds Evansville career records for innings pitched, strikeouts and wins and single-season record for wins.

Undergraduate Alma Mater and year graduated: University of Evansville, 1988 (Bachelor of Accounting).

Postgraduate degree: Southeast Missouri State University, 1991 (Master's of Business Administration).

Q: When did you know you wanted to coach fastpitch softball and how did you get started?

KB: After my senior year in college, because I decided to be a graduate assistant while I worked on my master's.

Q: Who are some of the coaches and non-coaches you learned the most from and what did you learn?

KB: My high school coach (Bruce Jilek) and college coach (Denise Feldhaus).

Q: What do you think you do best as a coach?

KB: Motivate.

Q: What would you change, if anything, about the recruiting process?

KB: Silly things, like no color paper allowed for printed material.

Q: If there is one rule or procedure change you would like to see your national governing body adopt, what would it be?

KB: Move the pitching distance back to 40 feet.

Q: When recruiting, what's the first thing you look for in a player? What's the second thing?

KB: The first think I look for is pure athletic talent. The second is attitude.

Q: What makes for a successful season?

KB: Playing up to your potential, whatever it may be.

Q: What was your greatest moment as a coach?

KB: Going to an NCAA Regional.

Q: What was your worst moment as a coach?

KB: Going two (losses) and out at the conference tournament.

Q: What is funniest/strangest/most memorable experience you and your team have had on the road?

KB: On the way home from NCAA's, we ran out of gas as we pulled into campus.

Q: What do you love most about coaching?

KB: The interaction with the student-athletes.

Q: Please complete this sentence: My coaching career has been successful if the majority of my players_____________.

KB: Graduate and enjoy their careers as SIU Salukis.

Q: Who was the best player you've ever coached against?

KB: Amanda Scott, pitcher, Fresno State University.

Q: If you could go anywhere in the world for a week, all expenses paid, where would you go?

KB: The Bahamas or Hawai'i. I love the ocean and the sun.

Q: What haven't you done yet in your life that you still want to do?

KB: Travel to Europe.

Q: What advice would you give to young people who want to coach softball?

KB: Listen, learn and pick everyone's brain.

Q: If you weren't coaching softball, what would you be doing?

KB: I'd probably abe an athletic administrator.

Q: What is your favorite movie?

KB: Message in a Bottle.

Q: Who is your favorite movie star?

KB: Kevin Kostner

Q: What is your favorite television show?

KB: ER or Real World.

Q: What is your favorite song?

KB: When you say nothing at all.

Q: What is your favorite food?

KB: My grandma's chicken and dumplings.

Q: Your favorite book?

KB: Anything by Patricia Cornwell.

Q: When "The One Great Scorer comes to write against your name", what would you like to see written there?

KB: "Here is a person who gave more than she took."