Aug. 17, 2004
ATLANTA – Ehren Earleywine signed a three-year contract to remain head softball coach at Georgia Tech through 2007, announced Tuesday morning by athletic director Dave Braine.
“I owe Dave Braine a sincere thank you for all that he has done for me and my family over the past year,” said Earleywine. “He hired me on as the interim coach last year after Kate Madden’s late announcement of resignation and gave me an opportunity when others would not have. He then moved the interim off my name during the season and allowed me some breathing room in a show of confidence.
“After the season ended, he offered me an opportunity to be here for the next three years and I am extremely thankful for the opportunity. My goal now is to simply move this program up in the national rankings piece-by-piece. Some of the pieces are already assembled and others are on the way. I thank God each day for this wonderful opportunity that I have been entrusted with.”
Earleywine guided Tech to 47 wins last year and a third-place finish in the Athens Regional. The Yellow Jackets posted their first ever wins over top-10 opponents, defeating No. 9 Louisiana-Lafayette (2/7) and No. 10 Georgia (5/19). The Rambling Wreck made their second Atlantic Coast Conference Championship game appearance at the 2004 ACC Tournament, eventually falling to top-seeded Florida State, 3-1. The Yellow Jackets appeared at No. 22/23 in the final USA Today/NFCA and ESPN.com/USA Softball polls.
“It’s a continuation in the hiring of good people,” said Braine. “He’s done an excellent job with less publicity than Paul Hewitt [men’s basketball], but we put him in that same category.”
Included in the list of accomplishments for Tech under Earleywine’s guidance, was the third All-American in program history in Jessica Sallinger. Sallinger earned NFCA third team honors after finishing the season 31-10 with a 0.82 earned run average in the circle.