Entering her 18th season at the helm of the Kean University softball program, head coach Margie Acker has re-established the Cougars competitively both in the NJAC and across the region. Acker has led the team to six NCAA Tournaments, including a trip to the 2015 College World Series. Acker owns 373 career victories at Kean.
Acker guided the softball program to its fifth-straight season of at least 20 wins in 2016, and helped mold junior centerfielder Dana Knapp into a Division III All-American – just the fifth Cougar to ever earn the distinction.
The 2015 team boasted two All-Americans and ended the year ranked No. 6 in the nation. She and the rest of the staff were named the 2015 National Fastpitch Coaches Association East Region Coaching Staff of the Year.
After winning a pair of New Jersey Athletic Conference Championships as a player at then-Trenton State College, Acker has matched that total with a pair of championships at the helm of the Cougars program, guiding Kean to back-to-back NJAC titles in 2010 and 2011.
The 2014 Cougars reached the NJAC Championship Game and swept through the NCAA Union Regional, making them one of the final 16 teams left standing in the nation.
Acker guided the Cougars back to the NCAA Division III softball tournament for the first time as a head coach in 2008, as the Cougars posted just the third 30-win season in program history. The 2010 squad posted the second most wins in school history, as they came within one win of the World Series en-route to finishing with 32 wins.
Her 2007 team finished as Eastern College Athletic Conference Southern Championship Runners-Up after going 24-15 during the year. The Cougars also appeared in the ECAC playoffs in 2006 and 2009.
The Cougars have been just as successful off the diamond, most recently posting the 77th highest cumulative grade point average of the more than 400 NCAA Division III schools that sponsor softball. The Kean softball program has been ranked in each of the last seven years, with individual academic recognition 47 times from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association as NFCA All-America Scholar Athletes. In the last seven years, three players have also earned ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District honors for their success in the classroom and on the field.
A former outfielder and catcher for then Trenton State, Acker brings an impressive personal background to the dugout. A 1992 NCAA Division III All-American outfielder for the Lions, Trenton State won 48-of-50 games and the 1992 NCAA Division III National Championship her senior season. A New Jersey Athletic Conference first-team all-star, Acker batted .438 and stole 21 bases in 25 attempts that season.
As a junior, she batted .425 and committed just one error in 31 games before having to miss the NCAA Tournament after suffering a broken arm late in the season. In addition to being an accomplished outfielder, Acker also spent time as the Lions catcher, helping lead her team to a 92-9 overall record in her two seasons in a Lions' uniform.
Following her playing career, Acker served as an assistant coach at NCAA Division I Rider University in 1997-98, helping guide the Broncs to the Northeast Conference Championship and a spot in the NCAA Regional Tournament.
Prior to taking over the head coaching duties at Kean, she served as an assistant coach at Muhlenberg College in 1998-99. In her one season with the Pennsylvania school, the Mules finished second in the Centennial Conference and runners-up in the ECAC Tournament.
Acker earned a Bachelor of Science degree in health and physical education with an emphasis in corporate fitness from Trenton State College in 1993.
Chrissy Yard joins the Cougar staff for her sixth season in 2017.
She and the rest of the staff were named the 2015 National Fastpitch Coaches Association East Region Coahing Staff of the Year after leading the Cougars to their first College World Series appearance in nearly 30 years.
Yard spent two years coaching in Connecticut working as a graduate assistant for the University of New Haven in 2010 and Hartford University in 2011. During the 2010 season her team enjoyed a 42-8 record, advancing to the NCAA Division II Super Regional. Prior to coaching, Yard was a four year member of the Scarlet Knights appearing in 117 games and tossing over 400 innings. During her sophomore campaign she recorded three saves, tying her for the standard in the single-season category. Yard was also a member of the BIG EAST all-academic squads in 2008 and 2009.
The Hillsborough native received her Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science and Sports Studies from Rutgers in 2009 and her Master of Science degree in Management of Sports Industries from New Haven in 2010.
Kelly Moorehead returns for her third season as assistant coach of the Kean softball program in 2017.
In her first season as coach, Moorehead was part of the Cougars’ 2015 National Fastpitch Coaches Association East Region Staff of the Year after helping to guide Kean to their first College World Series appearance in nearly 30 years.
An All-Region and All-NJAC selection and a four-year starter at shortstop for the Cougars from 2011-14, Moorehead batted .312 in her career with 10 homeruns and 47 extra-basehits. She drove in 103 runs, good for fifth among Kean’s all-time leaders.
Moorehead earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2015 and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in social work from Kean.