East Carolina's Kee Receives C-USA SAAC Coaches Choice Award
Nov. 11, 2006
IRVING, Texas - East Carolina head softball coach Tracey Kee has been selected as the Conference USA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Coaches Choice Award winner for 2005-06.
Kee has been involved with the East Carolina softball program for 21 seasons: four as a standout player (1987-90), six as an assistant (1991-96), and is now in her eleventh year as head coach (1997-present). In 1997, Kee's first as a head coach, ECU made the transition from playing as an independent to competing in the Big South Conference. Her inaugural season began on a high note and set the precedent for the success her teams would have in the years that followed. The '97 team won a school record 49 games and Kee was named the Big South Coach of the Year. ECU outgrew the Big South and became a member of the Southern Athletic Softball Alliance (SASA) for the 2000 and 2001 seasons. SASA was comprised of five Atlantic Coast Conference teams and ECU. Despite a higher level of competition, Kee did not disappoint. Her 2000 team became just the 13th team in NCAA history to win 60 games in a season. In just four seasons as a head coach, Kee was the third fastest coach in Division I to reach the 200 win mark. A school-wide move to Conference USA in 2002 would prove to be no obstacle for Kee, despite entering a conference with perennial NCAA tournament teams like DePaul, Southern Miss, and USF. The Pirates debut season in the highly touted C-USA was successful as the team made it to post-season play after finishing the regular season in the top six.
Several of Kee's players have received conference, regional, and national recognition. One look in the record books will show Kee's players sitting atop nearly every statistical category. Perhaps Kee's greatest attribute as a coach is her development of players. She is a teacher first and foremost. Her players are fundamentally sound and have a great understanding of the game, and she emphasizes their success in the classroom. Eight East Carolina softball players were named to the C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll for 2005-06.
The SAAC Coaches Choice Award recognizes a coach that is committed to fostering student-athlete development and welfare through a positive athletic and academic atmosphere. Each C-USA institution selects a nominee and then voting is done by the conference SAAC representatives during its annual in-person meeting.
Kee's nomination was submitted by junior utility player Erin St. Ledger and the East Carolina SAAC.