Loyola softball coach Mike Spence retired following the Flyers’ two-game set in the LHSAA Class 3A state playoffs this spring and the school has tabbed North DeSoto Middle School coach Kristen Cole to replace him.
Cole, who coached one season at NDMS after a 3-year stint as a Marshall High School assistant, inherits a team that lost seven players off last year’s club but returns All-City shortstop Caroline Vanchiere.
“I am so excited to get this opportunity,” Cole said in a release. “Coach Spence did a great job building the program and I want to continue to improve and take it to the next level.”
Loyola is moving to District 1-4A next season joining Northwood and Benton, among others.
Spence spent five years with the Flyers, guiding them to three playoff appearances, along with one District 1-3A title. His final team went 19-11 defeating St. Mary’s Academy 9-2 in the opening round of the playoffs before falling 15-0 to Kaplan.
The 26-year-old Cole, who will teach Algrebra at Loyola, lettered at Huntington High and graduated from East Texas Baptist University.
“To be a head coach in the sport I love really means a lot to me,” she said. “I’m really passionate about softball and want to do all I can to make it a great experience for the girls.”
Spence and assistant coach Kara McClung unpaid coaches for the Flyers.
“We are very appreciative of the job Mike Spence and his staff did for Flyers softball,” incoming Loyola principal John LeBlanc said. “The program got better and better every year and I know Kristen will do a great job in continuing to build on what has already been done.”