January 17, 2013

Two-time OVC Pitcher of the Year Bynum named Tech softball head coach


COOKEVILLE, Tenn. Bonnie Bynum has been named Tennessee Tech’s softball team’s head coach, effective immediately, replacing Tory Acheson who resigned Thursday following 14 seasons at the Golden Eagle helm. 

“Bonnie Bynum had an exceptional career as a player at Tennessee Tech, has proven to be an outstanding coach at Western Kentucky, and is the right person to lead the softball team and carry on the tremendous tradition of success the program has enjoyed, both on the field and in the classroom,” said Mark Wilson, TTU Director of Athletics.

The most successful pitcher in Ohio Valley Conference history, Bynum returned in May to her alma mater as assistant coach after five seasons on the Western Kentucky University softball coaching staff. 

“I’m excited to have the opportunity to build on an already great program that Coach Acheson has established and I’m looking forward to the future of Tennessee Tech softball,” Bynum said. “I want to thank Tory for everything he has done for me in my career, both as a player and as a coach.

“The 2013 season is quickly approaching, and the team will continue to work for the next few weeks exactly the same as we did in the fall to get ready to play,” she added.

The team will open the 2013 season Feb. 9-10 at the Georgia Southern Invitational.

Bynum worked the past five seasons with the pitching staff at WKU, culminating in all-region and all-Sun Belt Conference honors for the team’s ace. 

“Bonnie understands the craft of pitching, she understands the game of softball, and she understands student-athletes,” Wilson said. “She will be a tremendous asset to Tennessee Tech softball as head coach, the same way she was as a student-athlete.”

Bynum currently holds every OVC pitching record except one (which is held by another former Tech pitcher), and was twice named as Tech’s Outstanding Female Athlete. A two-time OVC Pitcher of the Year in 2006 and 2007, she was a three-time first-team all-OVC selection. She also won three consecutive OVC Tournament MVP honors.

As a junior, she was named the Outstanding Female Athlete for the entire OVC.  In the circle for Tech, she was a four-year letterwinner and starter under Acheson. She posted a school- and OVC-record 103 career victories including 34 wins as a senior in 2007.

All told, she appeared in 193 games, throwing 1,021 strikeouts and six no-hitters. She finished '07 ranked seventh nationally in victories. During her senior year, she posted a 1.50 earned run average, throwing 33 complete games and 11 shutouts while pitching over 300 innings.

She is a native of Fayetteville, Ga., and graduated from Tech in 2007 with a degree in business management. 

Acheson announced his resignation after 14 seasons at the helm of the Golden Eagle program. A two-time OVC Coach of the Year, Acheson lifted the Golden Eagle softball program to new heights during his 14 seasons, recording at least 25 wins 13 times while averaging nearly 35 wins per season. He recorded 787 career victories.

The team also achieved unprecedented success in the classroom, ranking among the Top 10 nationally five straight years for posting the highest GPA in Division I, including ranking first in the nation twice. Acheson coached five CoSIDA Academic All-Americans and 12 Academic All-District players. He led the Golden Eagles to four regular season titles as well as five OVC tournament championships. His teams also participated in an NCAA play-in game in 2001, and played four times in the NCAA Regionals (Texas 2003, Georgia 2005, Knoxville 2006, Tuscaloosa 2007).