MARIETTA, Ohio — With the retirement of veteran softball coach Jeanne Arbuckle
, Marietta College Director of Athletics Larry Hiser
turned to a familiar face in former Pioneer assistant coach Jenn Castle to take over the program. Hiser announced Thursday (June 14) that Castle has been hired as the eighth head coach in program history.
"There are a lot of cases where promoting an assistant to the head coach's role is the right thing to do," Hiser said. "We are blessed to promote Jenn to the head coach's role with a year of successful head coaching under her belt. Even in her year away, she had an impact on our 2018 team because Jenn recruited many of our current players."
"Thank you to Coach Arbuckle, Larry Hiser and President Ruud for allowing me the opportunity to return to Marietta and take over a program that means so much to me," Castle said. "My husband Cody and I were very fortunate to live in Marietta for eight years and loved being a part of the community. Our children Cambrie and Carter were born in Marietta so this town has always felt like our second home.
"I would also like to thank Bill Stiles, Athletic Director at Alvernia University, for allowing me to start my head coaching career this past year. My time at Alvernia was such a positive experience and I wish them the best of luck."
After eight seasons as Arbuckle's top assistant, recruiting coordinator and pitching coach, Castle took the head coaching position at Alvernia University, an NCAA Division III institution in Reading, Pennsylvania.
"All the things that are speculative within the interview process are truths with Jenn," Hiser said. "We know she can coach and recruit. We know she's hard working and self motivated. We know she understands MC and our town. We are thrilled to have her back and turn her loose!"
Castle led the Golden Wolves to a 23-14-1 record in her first season as a collegiate head coach. Alvernia finished 8-8 in the Commonwealth division of the Middle Atlantic Conference.
Castle coached a pair of first team All-MAC players in 2018 including sophomore pitcher Riley Shields. Shields led the MAC Commonwealth in wins (15), innings pitched (158.0) and strikeouts (85).
"The softball program is in a good place right now and I know it will continue to flourish in Jenn's able hands," Arbuckle said. "I couldn't be happier to know she will be taking over the program and leading it to greater heights in the future."
Prior to her first stint at Marietta, Castle pitched and played the outfield for Ashland University from 2004-08. She earned All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) honorable mention in 2007 and All-GLIAC first team honors as a senior captain in 2008. Castle also received Academic All-GLIAC recognition as a junior and senior.
Castle earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from Ashland University in 2008. The Preschool-Third Grade certified teacher worked as a long-term substitute for a second grade class at Edison Elementary School, located in Ashland during the spring of 2009.
"During my time working under Coach Arbuckle she taught me so much more than just the athletic side of the softball program," Castle said. "She showed me how to balance academics and athletics and the importance of putting the student-athlete first. Being able to continue the legacy that she started is such an honor and I look forward being back home at Marietta."