Janelle Breneman Takes UNC Greensboro Head Coaching Spot
July 18, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. - After two years as an assistant coach for the South Carolina softball program, Janelle Breneman has accepted a new role elsewhere, as she was named as the head coach at UNC Greensboro on Wednesday.
"I am grateful for the past two years at South Carolina," said Breneman, "and I have enjoyed my time in this outstanding athletic program. Working alongside Beverly (Smith), Calvin (Beamon) and Chrissy (Schoonmaker) has been rewarding, and coaching this group of student-athletes has been a special experience. I am confident this program will continue to reach new levels in the competitive SEC. As I switch gears in my career, I am extremely eager to get on the field and lead the UNC Greensboro program to new heights."
In her two years in Columbia, Breneman helped the Gamecocks as the top assistant for Beverly Smith, working with infielders on their defense and with the hitters as well. The 2011 team led the SEC with 26 double plays while adding the second-most assists in the league. Evan Childs, Samie Garcia and Dana Hathorn, all members of the 2011 infield, stand in South Carolina's single-season top five in assists per game at their respective positions. At the plate, the Gamecocks have had a revival, posting single-season team records in each of her two years, including new slugging percentage and home run marks in 2012.
"First and foremost, I want to congratulate Janelle on accepting the job at UNC Greensboro," said Smith. "This is a great hire for UNCG, and Janelle is a tremendous coach. Secondly, I want to thank Janelle for joining me at South Carolina to start the new chapter of South Carolina softball. I'm grateful for what she brought to the program and the knowledge she imparted on our players. Her work has us in a great position to continue moving forward. I wish her nothing but the best."
Prior to coming to Columbia, Breneman spent six seasons alongside Smith as an assistant coach at North Carolina, where she helped the Tar Heels to five 40+ win seasons and continue what was an eight-year NCAA Tournament appearance streak at the time of her departure.
It will not be Breneman's first job in the top spot of a team. Twice, she's held head-coaching roles, first at NCAA Division II East Stroudsburg in her home state of Pennsylvania before moving to Division I Bucknell, where she led the Bison to their program's first Patriot League Tournament appearance.
A search is underway to fill the vacant spot on Smith's staff.