Saenz headed to EKU Hall of Fame

Aug 10, 2023Amanda Fenwick
San Jacinto College softball coach Kelly Saenz

Hall of Fame induction luncheon will take place on Saturday, Sept. 23

PASADENA, Texas — San Jacinto College Softball Head Coach Kelly Saenz can add another Hall of Fame induction to her resume. Her alma mater, Eastern Kentucky University, announced the former Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year as one of seven inductees, along with the 1971-1972 men’s basketball team, into the 2023 EKU Hall of Fame Class.

“I am incredibly honored to be considered among a talented and distinguished class of hall of fame inductees,” said Saenz, who just completed her 20th season as head softball coach at San Jacinto College. “I love coaching. I have a passion for teaching and mentoring student-athletes. But to be recognized for my time on the field at an institution where I had so much fun and made so many memories is really an unbelievable feeling. I am thankful to the selection committee at Eastern Kentucky University for this honor, and I look forward to attending the induction luncheon and activities.”

Saenz played four seasons with EKU’s softball program, earning conference player of the year honors in 1998. She hit .321 in her career with 18 home runs and 99 RBI. As a sophomore, she batted .416 with 17 doubles and ranked 20th nationally with 12 home runs.

“We are thrilled for Coach Saenz to receive the news that she is going to be inducted into her alma mater’s hall of fame,” said Dr. Allatia Harris, San Jacinto College vice chancellor for strategic initiatives. “Coach Saenz is an incredible asset to our athletics program at San Jacinto College. She clearly has had an impact on our student-athletes on and off the field, and we are proud of everything she has accomplished during her playing and coaching careers.”

During her 20 years at San Jac, Saenz has notched 731 wins. She has led her teams to six National Junior College Athletic Association Softball World Series appearances, with a program-best third place national finish in 2021, including three conference championships and five regional tournament championships. She has coached 98 all-conference and 86 all-region XIV players, and five NJCAA All-Americans. The Ravens head coach was the 2022 Region XIV Coach of the Year and twice had the National Fastpitch Coaches Association regional coaching staff of the year. She has also coached three regional and four conference pitchers of the year and two regional and two conference players of the year.

Softball has dominated Saenz’s youth and professional career. A Winnipeg shortstop with a power bat, Saenz helped the Smitty’s Midget girls’ division team in 1995 and 1996 to two of three consecutive Canadian championships. For her contributions, she made the Manitoba Softball Hall of Fame in 2014 and, along with former teammates, the Softball Canada Hall of Fame in 2015.

Saenz began her collegiate coaching career with Frank Phillips College’s Lady Plainsmen in 2003. She holds a bachelor’s degree in physical education from EKU and a master’s degree in health, physical education, and recreation from the University of South Dakota. She and her husband, Mike, live in Houston.

In addition to Saenz, the 2023 EKU Hall of Fame 2023 class includes ...

  • David Bootcheck (men's basketball)
  • Lori Duncan (volleyball)
  • Bernadette Kok (volleyball and women's basketball)
  • Lydia Kosgei (women's track and field and cross country)
  • Bruce Oldendick (men's golf)
  • David Wilkins (football)
  • The 1971-72 men's basketball team

The 2023 EKU Hall of Fame induction luncheon will take place on Saturday, Sept. 23, at the EKU Center for the Arts. The inductees will be recognized during the Colonels' football game against Southeast Missouri State later that day. 

About San Jacinto College

Surrounded by monuments of history, evolving industries, maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has served the people of East Harris County, Texas, since 1961. The College is one of the top 10 community colleges in the nation as designated by the Aspen Institute and was named an Achieving the Dream Leader College of Distinction in 2020. The College is a Hispanic-Serving Institution that spans five campuses, serving approximately 41,000 credit and non-credit students annually. It offers more than 200 degrees and certificates across eight major areas of study that put students on a path to transfer to four-year institutions or enter the workforce. The College is fiscally sound, holding bond ratings of AA and Aa2 by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s.

For more information about San Jacinto College, visit

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