RIO GRANDE, Ohio — Kristen Bradshaw, who guided the University of Rio Grande softball program to its third straight winning season and just its second 30-win campaign in the last decade, has announced her resignation as the head coach of the RedStorm.
Bradshaw, who informed Rio Grande athletic officials of her decision late Wednesday afternoon, has accepted an offer to become a teacher and the head softball coach at Portsmouth High School.
Bradshaw will also remain the varsity girls’ basketball coach at PHS, a position she also filled last winter.
“I want to thank athletic director, Jeff Lanham, and all of the administration at Rio Grande for giving me the opportunity to lead the RedStorm softball program for the past three seasons,” Bradshaw said. “I’ve enjoyed my time here with my Rio - a family that I will never forget.”
Bradshaw, a native of Portsmouth and a 2006 graduate of Northwest High School in McDermott, came to Rio Grande in July 2011 from Wright State University - where she enjoyed a stellar collegiate career - following the resignation of previous head coach Dawnjene DeLong.
During Bradshaw’s three-year tenure at Rio, the RedStorm posted a 76-59 overall record. This year’s squad, which had just two upperclassmen on its 16-player roster, finished 30-20 overall and 21-15 in the Mid-South Conference, tying Cumberland (Tenn.) University for fourth place in the final league standings.
Bradshaw’s team was one of just two to defeat MSC regular season champion Lindsey Wilson College twice this season. Earlier this week, the Blue Raiders became one of 10 teams to advance to the NAIA World Series.
“We’re sad to see coach Bradshaw depart. Rio was very fortunate to have her leadership in our softball program,” said Lanham. “She’s moving on to new challenges and we’d like to wish her luck with her new adventure.
“Rio was her first head coaching experience and she’s grown into a very worthy coach who is respected by her student-athletes, as well as opposing coaches,” Lanham continued. “Kristen will have success in the future because of her attitude and hard work. She has the ability to have a positive impact on her student-athletes.”
For Lanham, finding a new head coach now becomes a top priority.
“Coach Bradshaw was responsible for laying a great foundation for the future of Rio softball,” he said. “We have begun the pursuit for her replacement and hope to complete the search very soon.”