Eastern Kentucky University (1998)
University of South Dakota (2002)
Overall Record: 607-391 (18 seasons)
San Jacinto College Record: 604-371
Hall of Famer Kelly Saenz enters her 18th season heading the San Jacinto College Coyotes Softball Team at the South Campus. She has built a respectable program that puts the College on the national radar. Case in point: The San Jac softball squad’s first berth in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) national tournament in 2008. To date, her players have won 61 percent of their games.
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 (2014) and, along with former teammates, the Softball Canada Hall of Fame (2015).
Throughout her time at San Jac, Saenz has led the softball squad to many achievements on and off the field.
2020: team 19-4, 4 NJCAA All Academic, 3 all region Academic teams. Shorten due to COVID
2019: Under Saenz’s leadership, the team was a regional tournament qualifier, placing third. The squad posted a 37-27 overall record, 15-9 in conference play. Players racked up many individual accolades, including five named to First Team Region XIV All-Conference, two to Second Team All-Region XIV Conference, one to First Team All-Region, four to Second Team All-Region, and one to Second Team National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Midwest Region. In academic awards, two players made the Region XIV All-Academic Team, five the NJCAA Academic Team, and five NFCA All-America Scholar Athletes.
2018: San Jac advanced to the regional quarterfinals, finishing 23-32, 13-11 in conference play. Seven players received post-season honors. Allison Bravo and Taylor McHenry led as all-conference and all-region first team selections. Michelle Kristoff, Natalie Hoyt, Mackenzie Kotrla, Katlyn Rivera, and Riley Bullen earned all-conference second team honors.
2017: This season yielded another Region XIV championship, a fourth appearance in the NJCAA national tournament, and No. 8 nationally with a 43-21 record. The NFCA named Saenz and her staff the Midwest Region Coaching Staff of the Year. Pitcher Niki Gonzalez re-wrote the record books -- named the Region XIV Pitcher of the Year, a First Team NJCAA All-American, and NFCA Second Team All-American. Five players also made the Region XIV all-conference first team, and two earned all-Region XIV first team honors.
2016: Saenz’s squad claimed the NJCAA Region XIV championship title and advanced to nationals for a third time, finishing seventh with a record of 38-25. Seven players earned NJCAA and NFCA honors, including the sister pitching/catching force Niki and Gabby Gonzalez. Gabby finished the regular season with six doubles, one triple, and 10 homeruns and won the NJCAA National Softball Tournament Home Run Derby. Niki finished with 27 wins, 302 strikeouts, and a team-best 1.94 ERA. Also, Niki received NFCA First Team Midwest Region All-American honors and Third Team All-American.
2015: The team finished seventh at the Region XIV tournament, with 34-25, 15-9 in regional play. Carah Nunez recorded a stand-out season with NJCAA All-Star team, NJCAA Mariucci Elite Hitter, first team all-South conference, and first team all-region honors. Gabby Gonzalez was named an NFCA Midwest Region All-American. In addition, five players made the NJCAA All-Region XIV team, and nine players the Region XIV All-South Region team.
2014: Saenz and her team sailed to No. 5 nationally during their return to the NJCAA national tournament. The team posted a 41-24 record (the sixth 40-plus win season for the Hall of Fame coach), with three players earning NFCA Division I All-American honors. Jessie Rodriguez received the NJCAA national tournament’s most outstanding offensive player and the Mariucci Elite Hitter Award. In addition, seven players earned Region XIV recognition.
2013: The squad posted another 40-win season, finishing 40-27. Six players earned NJCAA Region XIV South Conference honors, and three signed national letters of intent to four-year universities.
2012: Saenz notched her 300th career win, guiding the team to a NJCAA ranking of No. 11 nationally. San Jac finished the season 45-13 overall, 19-5 in conference play. Ashley Noak broke the single-season doubles record with 26, and pitchers Shannon Millman, Alexis Estrada, and Brooke DuBois broke the single-season saves record with 14. In addition, six teammates were named NJCAA Region XIV players and pitchers of the week.
2011: Saenz guided the team to a 40-21 record, finishing fifth in the Region XIV tournament. Six players earned all-region and all-South Region honors, and two committed to continue their careers at NCAA or NAIA institutions.
2010: San Jac finished with a 28-26-1 record, placing third at the conference tournament. Six players were named to the all-South Region team, and two earned NJCAA Region XIV All-Conference honors. In addition, three signed letters of intent to four-year universities.
2009: Saenz led the team to a 42-19 record, 23-9 in conference play, and second place in the Region XIV South Zone. Four players earned NJCAA and NFCA honors. NFCA Second Team All-Americans Kelsey McClain and Courtney Pettit combined for eight school records.
2008: Saenz landed her biggest career success with her team winning the conference tournament, advancing to nationals for the first time in San Jac history, and finishing No. 4 in the nation. Three players made the all-region team and NJCAA national tournament all-tournament team, four the NFCA All-Midwest region team, and two the NFCA All-American team. Saenz led the squad to a 41-17 record -- her most single-season wins at San Jac -- and her coaching staff earned the NFCA Regional Coaching Staff of the Year award for the Midwest Region.
2006 & 2007: Saenz guided San Jac to sixth place at the regional tournament. In 2007, three players were named to the all-region team, as well as the NFCA All-Midwest region team, while both seasons saw three players continue their careers at NCAA institutions.
2004 & 2005: In Saenz’s first two seasons at San Jac, her teams finished second and fourth, respectively, at the conference tournament. The 2005 team posted a 35-23 record, with four players named to the Region XIV all-conference team and three NFCA All-Americans. In 2004, the team posted a 38-23 record.
Saenz began her collegiate coaching career with Frank Phillips College’s Lady Plainsmen in 2003. The 1998 Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year, she holds a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Eastern Kentucky University and a master’s in health, physical education, and recreation from the University of South Dakota. She and her husband, Mike, live in Houston.
|Frank Phillips College|
|San Jacinto College|
|2020||19-4 (shortened due to COVID)|