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UCA softball coach Kuhn steps down for new job; Parsons to take over

by Eli Lederman | June 23, 2021 at 2:10 p.m.

University of Central Arkansas softball head coach David Kuhn is leaving the program following 13 seasons for the same role at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, the Bears announced Wednesday.

Kuhn will be replaced by associate head coach Jenny Parsons, the former Nicholls State head coach who has led UCA's pitchers since 2011.

Kuhn took over the program in 2009 two years after the Bears moved into Division-I and turned UCA into perennial Southland Conference contenders, exiting as the winningest coach in a program history with 380 victories. Under his leadership, the Bears made to eight consecutive conference tournament appearances from 2012-19 and won their first Southland title in 2015, which sent the program to its lone NCAA Tournament appearance. In Kuhn's final season this spring, UCA finished 37-19 and 21-6 in the conference before reaching the conference championship game.

"We want to thank Coach Kuhn for putting our program in a great place," UCA athletic director Brad Teague said in a release. "His consistency in placing our program at an elite level is a testament to his efforts and abilities. We wish him the best and further success in his new endeavor."

Parsons' promotion maintains program continuity with 10 years in Conway under her belt. According to the release, assistant coach Chris Watford will remain on the coaching stuff with volunteer assistant Kayla Lucas moving into a full-time position.

Parsons was a record-setting pitcher at East Carolina University from 1991-94 and was inducted into the school's Hall of Fame in 2016. She began her coaching career with the Pirates, spending seven seasons as an assistant at her alma mater. Over eight seasons at Nicholls State, Parsons led the Colonels to four postseason appearances, including a run to the Southland Championship Game in 2008.

In Conway, Parsons has been present for the most successful years in program history. She takes over a program that features conference freshman of the year Jenna Wildeman, 21-game winner Kayla Beaver and a talented crop of underclassmen that fell just shy of a Southland title as the Bears transition into the Atlantic Sun Conference in 2021.

"I'm excited for the opportunity to continue what we've done here for the last 10 years I've been here and the last 13 that Coach Kuhn has been here," Parsons said. "We're going in the right direction and I'm looking forward to keeping it moving in that direction."

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