Former CCU softball coach Dannelly makes BSC Hall

ccusoft-dannellyFormer Coastal Carolina head softball coach and current Associate Athletic Director for Community Outreach Jess Dannelly has been elected to the Big South Conference’s Hall of Fame Class of 2015, the league announced Thursday.

 

Dannelly is joined in the 2015 class by former UNC Asheville men’s basketball coach Eddie Biedenbach, former Campbell men’s soccer player David Doyle and former Radford women’s soccer player Sue Williams. The quartet will be officially inducted on May 28 during a special ceremony as part of the Big South’s annual spring meetings at the Marriott Resort in Hilton Head Island, S.C. The Hall of Fame was created in 2003 as part of the League’s 20th Anniversary celebration, and now totals 57 former Big South Conference student-athletes, coaches, administrators and contributors with the addition of this year’s class.

 

Dannelly retired as the Big South’s all-time winningest softball coach with 669 victories (now second) and finished his coaching career ranked as the 44th winningest coach in NCAA history.  He was the conference’s all-time leader in Big South wins with 185 until this past March, and recorded 48 victories in Big South Championship play with five titles — most in conference history.  Dannelly’s squads also won six regular-season crowns.  He was named Southeast Regional Coaching Staff of the Year in 2000 and directed the Chanticleers to 12 Big South Championship game appearances.  Dannelly led Coastal to four NCAA Tournament appearances (1998-00-01-06), the most by any Big South softball coach, and the Chanticleers also earned an at-large appearance in the 1992 National Invitation Championship in Macomb, Ill. — the league’s first-ever postseason appearance. 

 

Dannelly won a record seven Big South Coach of the Year awards (1989-91-92-94-00-03-06) and was voted to the Big South’s 1990-99 and 2000-09 All-Decade Softball Teams as head coach.  He coached seven Big South Player of the Year honorees, 64 First-Team All-Conference selections, 11 NFCA All-Region First-Team and 12 Second-Team honorees, and will join five of his former players in the Big South Hall of Fame.

 

Dannelly’s 2000 NCAA squad became the first women’s athletic program in Big South history to earn a victory in an NCAA Championship event when the Chanticleers defeated No. 21 Florida Atlantic.  During that postseason run, the Chanticleers eliminated Florida Atlantic and Penn State before falling to Arizona State.  Coastal earned a final national ranking of No. 29 following the 2000 season.  His 1994 squad posted one of the best seasons in Big South history, going 44-15 and having the NCAA Academic Athlete of the Year as well as the Big South Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year and four All-Conference players.  The 44 wins is tied for the school record. 

 

Now in his 27th year in CCU’s athletic department, Dannelly spearheads the organization of the new Letterwinners’ Association.  He joined the CCU staff in 1984 as Assistant AD/Facilities and assistant baseball coach to then-head coach Bobby Richardson.  After coaching high school baseball for one season in 1985, he returned to Coastal to resume his assistant coaching duties with the baseball team prior to the 1986 season.  Dannelly served as assistant baseball coach until accepting the head coaching position of the Chanticleers’ softball program in 1988.  He was inducted into Coastal Carolina’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011.

Photo courtesy of BSC

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