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August 14, 2013

O-State hires experienced softball coach

The Daily Star


A struggling Oneonta State softball program will receive new direction Thursday.

O-State athletic director Tracey Ranieri announced in a media release by the college that Sara Headley will take over as softball coach Thursday.

Headley replaced Sidney graduate Liz Wagner, who coached the Red Dragons for the past seven seasons. Wagner guided O-State to a 111-156 record, including an 8-28 campaign in 2013 and a 12-24 mark the season before.

The Red Dragons had one senior on their 2013 roster -- Kalyn Deso.

O-State’s last winning season came in 2010, when it went 21-17.

Wagner left to pursue other professional opportunities, according to the media release.

“Coach Headley brings a wealth of experience and positive energy that will serve our student athletes well,” Ranieri said. “We are thrilled that she will join our coaching staff.”

Headley spent the last 10 years as the head coach at Division II Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa. She finished with eight 20-win seasons and leaves as the winningest coach in program history. Mercyhurst finished 20-30 this past spring.

In 2012, the Lakers won 26 games, the highest single-season total in program history. They also won two games in the PSAC Tournament, the first time Mercyhurst earned a PSAC Tournament victory. Headley guided the team to consecutive winning seasons for the first time since 1990-91.

Mercyhurst finished 24-20 overall during 2011, going 9-7 to second place in the PSAC West and its second berth in the PSAC Tournament. This was the first time since 1991 the Lakers finished with a winning record.

Headley coached 31 All-Conference, eight NFCA All-Region, six Daktronics All-Region and two Daktronics All-Americans. She also had a pair of Academic All-Americans with her team consistently holding a team GPA of 3.3 or better.

“I am thankful to SUNY Oneonta, Tracey Ranieri and the athletics department for granting me this great opportunity,” Headley said in the media release. “I am very excited to be a part of the SUNY Oneonta program. I am looking forward to meeting the team and ushering in a new era of Red Dragon softball!”

Before Mercyhurst, Headley served as the first assistant at Division I Florida International University. Florida International made its first NCAA Regional appearance in 2003. Headley spent two years as a graduate assistant at Augusta State University in Georgia. She earned her Master of Business Administration degree there in May 2001.

Headley played catcher at Robert Morris University, where she earned a number of awards for her performance on and off the field. She was named All-Northeast Region in 1997, selected to the All-Northeast Conference squads in 1997 and 1998, and was chosen NEC Academic Player of the Year in 1998. She was named ECAC Female Athlete of the Year and Woman of the Year for Robert Morris in 1999. She graduated cum laude from Robert Morris in 1999 with a degree in Business Administration/Sport Management.