Emporia St.

Emporia State director of athletics Kent Weiser has announced that Julie LeMaire will be the ninth head coach of the Hornet softball program. She was one of nearly 60 formal applicants for the position.

"I'm very excited to be named the next head softball coach at Emporia State,” said LeMaire. “I look forward to continuing the rich tradition on the field and in the classroom that Coach Bredbenner has established."

LeMaire just completed her third season as head coach at Fort Hays State and took the Tigers to the MIAA Tournament Championship game this past season. She went 92-76 (.548) in her three seasons in Hays with a 61-43 (.587) mark the past two seasons. The second winningest coach in FHSU history in both total wins and winning percentage, she is the only Tiger coach to put together three consecutive 30-win seasons.

“Coach LeMaire has a proven track record on the Division II level and within the MIAA,” said Weiser. “Her recruiting connections and on-field coaching will continue to keep ESU softball competitive at a national level.”

Offensively, Tigers set school records for team runs scored, RBI, hits, home runs and slugging percentage while in the circle FHSU has set records for most strikeouts, most strikeouts per 7.0 innings pitched and most shutouts during her tenure. The Tigers also set school records for the fewest errors and most double plays turned in a season under LeMaire’s leadership.

“I would like to thank Kent Weiser for giving me this great opportunity to lead the Hornets,” said LeMaire. "And I would also like to thank Curtis Hammeke for giving me the opportunity to begin my head coaching career at Fort Hays State."

LeMaire began her professional career at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla., where she served as assistant coach for two years. She worked primarily with the pitching staff, outfielders and hitting. Under her guidance the team ERA dropped 3.14 runs over her two seasons.

Prior to her stint at Lynn, LeMaire served as a graduate assistant coach at the University of North Dakota. With the Fighting Sioux, LeMaire worked with the development of the pitchers, outfielders and hitters, while assisting in recruiting, budget management and fundraising. She also taught physical education courses while working towards the completion of a master’s degree.

LeMaire earned Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-Region and All-Great Lakes Valley Conference honors at Quincy (Ill.) University. She set QU single-season records for home runs and hits as a senior and won 29 games in the circle during her career. She was the recipient of Quincy’s Brother Clete Van Ackeren Award for Academic and Athletic Achievement in 2004.

A native of Basco, Ill., LeMaire earned a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education from Quincy in 2004 and earned a master’s degree in Kinesiology from the North Dakota in 2007.

“I'm eager to share my energy and passion for the game to this talented group of young ladies,” said LeMaire.

The Hornets went 42-16 last season and won their sixth MIAA regular season championship in the last seven years. They have advanced to the NCAA tournament eight consecutive years, the longest streak of continuous NCAA play ever by an MIAA softball program.