Huntington native, Erin Rethlake, returns home as the new head coach of Forester softball.
By Sarah Disbro, Staff Writer
Huntington softball has a new head coach at the helm with former area softball standout Erin Rethlake.
Rethlake played her high school career at Huntington North High School before she went onto play D-I softball at the University of Kentucky.
After her college career ended, she wasn’t quite ready to hang up her cleats just yet. Rethlake still wanted to be involved in the game she loved, so she turned to coaching.
“When I started coaching I immediately fell in love with the game all over again, and I realized how much of an impact I could have on young girls, and I knew it was what I wanted to do,” stated Rethlake in an email interview.
She also credits playing at a high collegiate level with the challenges of highs and lows as teaching her “more than I could ever imagined.” Rethlake sees coaching as a way to help girls through many of the same experiences she had.
Having previously coached travel softball and a former assistant coach at Indiana Tech, Huntington is Rethlake’s first head coaching position at the collegiate level.
Being back in Huntington to coach Forester softball is an opportunity Rethlake couldn’t pass up.
“I have grown up in Huntington my whole life, and I grew up coming to games. To be back home after college and have the opportunity to coach in my hometown is more than I could have dreamed of,” said Rethlake.
Having just been hired this past June, Rethlake is still in the early stages of meeting her new team, but is encouraged by what she has seen so far.
The HU Softball program went 25-29 last season with a 14-20 record in the Crossroads League, good for seventh place in league action.
Looking ahead towards the Spring season Rethlake hopes to build a new culture around Forester Softball.
“…My goal, regardless of what the record may look like this year, is to create a competitive, gritty, consistent culture for this HU softball team. They’re already showing signs of those first 2 qualities so I’m very hopeful that it continues to grow.”
As head coach, Rethlake is not only just focused about the results on the field, but also how the members of her team can grow off the field.
On top of that competitive culture she wants to help create a team that can “…grow into successful, spiritual, strong women…I hope to continue to guide and build not only successful athletes, but successful women.”
With that mindset, Rethlake believes good things will come to the future of the softball program, both on and off the field.
Above everything, Rethlake’s return to Huntington is one that is sure to excite any fan of Forester softball.
“I am so looking forward to just being back home. Everyone at Huntington has been so welcoming and kind and I cannot imagine a better place to begin my career as a head coach.”