June 24, 1997

Peggy Kellers Moves to Administrative Post

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Peggy Kellers, the head softball coach at the University of Virginia since 1992, has stepped down to take the position of programs' assistant within the athletic department at UVa.

"Coach Kellers is a natural for our athletic department," said Craig Littlepage, UVa's senior associate director of athletics. "In her new position she assists in student-athlete services, serving as a liaison with various university units. Her coaching and sports psychology background provide us with a person who can appreciate the issues facing student-athletes and coaches alike."

In five seasons at the helm of the Virginia softball program, Kellers' teams posted a 123-97 record and a .559 winning percentage. Her clubs had winning seasons four of her five years at Virginia.

During Kellers' second season as coach (1994), Virginia won its lone ACC Softball Tournament title. Pitcher Michelle Collins was named the tournament MVP as Virginia defeated Florida State 3-0 in the championship game.

Kellers' players earned All-Atlantic Coast Conference recognition 12 times during her five seasons, including 1993 ACC Player of the Year and 1994 All-American catcher Eileen Schmidt. This season, catcher Beth Crimi was named to the GTE Academic All-District III Softball Team. Crimi was the third Cavalier to be cited by GTE under Kellers.

The UVa softball team's grade point average (GPA) ranked among the athletic department's top four in five of the last seven semesters. Her team earned the number one GPA ranking among Virginia's 24 intercollegiate sports twice during that span.

In 1994, Kellers was named the ACC's Coach of the Year after guiding UVa to the conference tournament championship. Virginia compiled a 33-18 record and ended the season ranked 25th in the nation, the second consecutive year the Cavaliers were ranked in the Top 25. A year earlier, Kellers led her first team at Virginia to a 32-12 record and a #19 ranking nationally.

"I've enjoyed the challenge of preparing the Virginia softball program for conference affiliation and taking it to a level where it is regionally competitive," said Kellers. "It's disappointing to leave at this point because the current student-athletes are ready to move on to an even higher level. The satisfaction for me comes from being part of the program's progress and growth."

A native of Stratford, Conn., Kellers graduated from Southern Connecticut State in 1970 with a bachelor's degree in physical education and recreation. She also holds a master's degree in physical education from the University of Bridgeport (1977) and a doctorate in sports psychology from Virginia (1989).

Kellers played basketball, field hockey, and volleyball at Southern Connecticut State and was named SCSU's Female Athlete of the Year as a senior. She also played 11 years for the Raybestos Brakettes (1964 to 1974) of Stratford, Conn., earning All-American honors six times as a catcher. The Brakettes won seven national championships and the 1974 world championship. Kellers was a Pan Am gold medalist in 1967. She was inducted into the Connecticut Hall of Fame in 1982 and the National Softball Association Hall of Fame in 1986.

Prior to arriving at Virginia, Kellers served as executive director of the National Association for Girls & Women in Sports in Reston, Va. In her role as executive director, she focused on girls' and women's sport issues, including coaching enhancement, leadership development and gender equity.