Head Lady Pilot softball coach Anna Welsh has recently announced that she will be leaving Bethel College following the spring season. She will be taking the same position at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida and her resignation will become effective June 30, 2012. Welsh will be making the move with her husband, Jeff Welsh, who is currently the Sports Information Director at Bethel and an assistant softball coach. In her seven years in command of the Lady Pilot softball program, Welsh has dominated the field with an overall record of 304-81-1. In addition, she has guided the team to five straight NAIA National Championship Tournament appearances and five MCC regular season titles. However, it has not all been about team achievements during her seven year tenure. Welsh has found a way to use her expertise and develop a number of her players. She has coached 10 NAIA All-Americans, 32 MCC All-Conference players, and four MCC players of the year. One of those players was Katie Boocher who currently holds the all-time NAIA career home run record. Although the decision to move to Florida has been one of much eagerness and excitement, it has increased the responsibility of Anna and Jeff. Nevertheless, both have claimed that they do not believe that it would be fair to give anything but their best as they approach their last season at Bethel. The Lady Pilots are currently ranked 12th in the preseason polls and have another legitimate chance of claiming the MCC title and making a serious run at the NAIA National Championship. The two announced their decision to the team on Monday Jan. 9 and began work on that Wednesday with the first practice of the 2012 season. At the same time, Welsh has been keeping a number of duties such as recruiting for Southeastern University. These have made for long days and a high level of stress. Although they will have to try to sell their house soon, the two have reported that they will have initial housing provided in Florida by the University. This is a huge loss for the softball team, but the Welsh’s along with the Pilot athletic department hope that the team will be able to focus on the present and make the most with the upcoming season. Nevertheless, it will be difficult to replace such a talented coach that has left a significant mark on Bethel College. According to Athletic Director, Jody Martinez, a national search will be made for a new coach similar to the open head volleyball coach opening.