Since becoming the leader of the Tennessee Tech softball program
in 1999, head coach Tory Acheson has taken the Golden Eagles to new
heights. Currently the longest tenured coach at Tennessee Tech,
Acheson has recorded at least 25 wins in 12 of his 13 seasons at
the helm and has averaged 35 wins per season during that span.
Now in his 13th season in Cookeville, Acheson is looking for
last year's young Golden Eagle squad to mature into a contender for
both the OVC regular season title and return to the league's
tournament and make a run for the crown.
Acheson has displayed his wealth of knowledge as well as an
unprecedented work ethic in order to improve the Tech program
— and its student-athletes — each and every day. With
760 career wins to his name, Acheson knows what it takes to go
above and beyond expectations and to maintain high standards. He
takes pride in everything his team does, both on and off the field,
as he ensures his teams also stay committed to academics and
Known for his winning traditions on the field, Acheson has
also shown his off-the-field character time and time again. He is a
firm believer in helping the community, and each year his team
takes part in several community service projects ranging from
helping with food drives to building a new home with Habitat for
Acheson’s commitment to academics is evident annually as
twice in the past four years his squad was awarded the National
Fastpitch Coaches Association highest academic honor for Division
I. Tech softball ranked first on the list of the “Girls Got
Game” Top Ten All-Academic Teams with a team GPA of 3.540 in
2008, and last year raised that to an incredible 3.61 mark. His
2009 squad also displayed academic prowess, ranking fourth in the
nation with a 3.509 team GPA, and his 2010 team also cracked the
top-10 ranking seventh in team GPA with a mark of 3.514.
That sensational performance in the classroom earned the team a
proclamation and recognition from the State of Tennessee House of
Representative and Senate.
Acheson has coached five CoSIDA Academic All-Americans and 12
Academic All-District players. He has also had 125 players named to
the OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll, which is presented
annually to student-athletes who have at least a 3.25 GPA.
Prior to his arrival at Tech, Acheson was head coach at
Wisconsin-Parkside and had 13 players named All-American. His teams
were named an Academic Top Ten Team all six of his seasons at
Parkside by the NFCA and ranked as high as third in Division II in
Acheson has a record of 480-320-1 at Tennessee Tech and is
only the fourth coach in Tech athletics history with 400 career
wins. As a two-time OVC Coach of the Year (2003 and 2006), he has
led the Golden Eagles to four regular season titles as well as five
OVC tournament championships. His teams have 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
Since his arrival, the Golden Eagles have used a combination
of strong non-conference competition and a tough league schedule to
be a force at the national level annually.
Winning has been something Acheson has done wherever he has
been. In 1995, Acheson led Parkside to its first NCAA Division II
national tournament where the Rangers finished fourth. The season
included an upset win over Division I Top 10 foe Nebraska.
The following year, his team was ranked number one in the
national Division II polls from the second week until the final
poll. That team finished 64-6-1 overall, won the program’s
first Great Lakes Valley Conference title and earned a return trip
to the NCAA tournament where it claimed seventh place.
In 1997, Parkside reached new heights under Acheson, compiling
its second-straight 60-win season (62-10), repeated as GLVC champs
and placed second in the national tournament. In 1998, his team
compiled a 40-20 overall record, including a 22-7 mark in
conference match-ups, while playing only seven home games.
In addition to his work on the field, Tory is a frequent
speaker at camps and clinics throughout the Midwest and Southeast,
including the NCAA Yes Clinic at the NCAA national championships.
He has been involved with player development through summer camps
and clinics, reaching more than 1,000 young players each
A native of Dubuque, Iowa, Tory earned both his
bachelor’s degree in secondary education and his
master’s degree from UW-Milwaukee. After nine seasons as head
softball coach at Whitnall (Wis.) High School, he was named
softball coach at Parkside in 1993. He also served as
facilities/program manager for the athletic department as well as
associate professor for five years.
Acheson and his staff take great pride in their facilities,
which they have made improvement to every season. Last year, he
built an obstacle course for use by student-athletes to hone their
physical skills and fitness. He also recycled seats removed from
the Hooper Eblen Center and attached them to the bleachers at the
softball field to provide a more comfortable seating area for fans.
Other renovations from years past include two decks atop either
dugout that provide better viewing areas for patrons, and a seating
deck in left field.
Tory's wife, Terry, has served as his assistant coach
throughout his career. The couple has one grown son, Chuck, who
assists in variuos aspects of the softball program.