Throughout the offseason, GoMocs.com plans to check in with all 12 of UTC’s head coaches to see what goes on during the summer months with each program and help the fans get to know Chattanooga's head coaches off the court or field.
Softball head coach Frank Reed is hot on the recruiting trail, but took a few minutes out of his busy summer schedule for a few questions.
Coach Reed is entering his 14th season as Chattanooga’s head coach, boasting a 974-386 career record and 498 wins at the helm of the Mocs.
Associate Head Coach Amy Herrington Woodard announced she was leaving the program this week to be closer to her family. What did Amy contribute in her four seasons as a Moc?
“A lot of coaches come and go. It’s always been my philosophy that if you have someone good, you really strive to keep them. We were very lucky to get Amy, who was a head coach at Appalachian State, and make her an associate head coach. She not only picked up where things were left off, but she took us to another level. She and I had the same mission and knew where we needed to steer the team, and we had a lot of great years together because of that. Not only that, but her maturity both on and off the field made her a great inspirational person for the team to look up to. You can’t say enough about someone like that. She was completely dedicated to the program. She exhibited great leadership and work ethic. She became a Moc as soon as she stepped foot on campus and never looked back. We hate to see her go, but family changes your priorities. Amy and Jonathan just welcomed their second child to their growing family. Coaches travel a lot during the season and maybe even more during the off-season on recruiting trips, and she would have been away from her family too much.”
What is the typical summer like for a coach?
“I think the general public may believe coaches kick back, relax and play golf all summer. That’s our big recruiting time. We can literally be gone every weekend on recruiting trips. Some schools choose to not even be home for weeks at a time, traveling from one site to another. We also try to take advantage of local tournaments. The weeks get very long. It’s actually easier for us during the season once everything is rolling and we have everything planned out. At that point, all we have to do is go out and play. Right now we are trying to get kids into school and get them situated before classes and practices begin.”
Where have your recruiting trips taken you this summer?
“I was in Colorado for a week this summer. There are probably a thousand teams playing in tournaments and it is my job to catch as many games as I can see between three tournaments. You start out early in the morning, come in late at night and the tournament sites can be anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour away from each other all over the Denver area. Then you have to take into consideration the tournament schedules. A game might have run long, causing the game you want to see to be starting late and it throws off your entire schedule for the day. I also spend a week in California this year in the Los Angeles area recruiting. Los Angeles is a major softball spot and it hosts tournaments nearly every weekend. We also caught a lot of local tournaments between Chattanooga and Atlanta. We’re fortunate to have a lot of softball activity in the southeast, and it’s good softball.”
With the fall semester coming up, what is the plan for returning student-athletes?
“We try to give them a little time when they first get here to get acclimated, get into classes and do those types of things. After that, we are immediately into our individual workouts. That requires us to be working with the infield group, outfield group or working with hitters. We will do that leading up to the four-week team practice period. That’s when we can have everyone there and working as a unit. We cap that off with our Blue/Gold scrimmage. That’s also a time when we try to schedule official visits for our kids who have already signed, and we also try to bring in some recruits for that weekend.”
Did you go on vacation or take a trip this summer for yourself?
“I don’t do a lot of things for myself. I always go into the summer thinking ‘This year is going to be different.’ I always think I am going to play some golf, get on my motorcycle a little more or maybe just hang out and do nothing. That hasn’t been the case, though. However, I did work in some time for me and my wife to take a cruise. We were on a ship, without internet access for five days, and it was nice to be away. Near the end of the trip I began thinking about missed calls and emails, so that was a little stressful, but I enjoyed it for the most part. It was the 2000-plus emails I received when we reached port that signaled the end of the vacation.”