Eastern Michigan athletic director hires fellow ex-Michigan softball player to lead Eagles
Photo courtesy of EMU Athletics
Former Michigan All-American catcher Melissa “Skeeter” Gentile has been hired as Eastern Michigan’s new head softball coach, the school announced on Monday. Gentile was a four-year letter-winner for Michigan and captained the Wolverines in 2000. She is the first head coach hired by new Eastern Michigan athletic director Heather Lyke, who also played college softball at Michigan, captaining the Wolverines in 1992.
Ann Arbor News file photo
Gentile replaces Karen Baird, who coached the Eagles for 11 years, compiling a 198-287-1 during her tenure. Baird did not have her contract renewed at the end of the 2013 season after Eastern went 17-33-1. Gentile was an assistant at Eastern from 2003-05 under Baird and at Central Michigan from 2000-02. Gentile led Jacksonville University to a 22-37 in her one year as a Division I head coach in 2006 before leaving to start her own company, Powerline Softball.
"I am thrilled to have the opportunity to return to EMU softball and to guide this program," said Gentile. "With the support of University President, Dr. Susan Martin, and the leadership of Athletic Director, Heather Lyke, the University and in particular the athletic department are entering an exciting time. I am eager to be a part of this new direction and to impact the lives of our student-athletes."
Gentile, 35, graduated from Michigan in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology. She was the program's all-time leader in home runs when she graduated. Gentile earned a master’s degree in athletic administration from Central Michigan in 2005.