Contributed Photo: After 33 years at the helm, EAC softball coach Kate McCluskey is hanging up her cleats.
By Tracee Peters/EAC
THATCHER — EAC head softball coach Kate McCluskey is stepping down after 33 seasons with the Gila Monsters. In a coaching career that spanned more than three decades, McCluskey established a legacy of elevating the game of softball, growing women’s sports, helping build a championship program, and giving back to the community.
McCluskey began her career at EAC in January 1990. She led her teams to Arizona Community College Athletic Conference (ACCAC) championships in 1998, 2007, 2015, 2016, and 2023. Under her leadership, EAC’s Softball Team was named Region 1 Champions in 2007, 2015, 2018, and 2023, and had many national site visits. McCluskey held the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Victory Club 1000 Career Wins in 2018 and was inducted into the ACCAC Hall of Fame in 2019. For her efforts, she received ACCAC Coach of the Year honors in 1995, 1998, 2007, and 2012.
“I am blessed to have amazing support and resources from Eastern Arizona College, our fans, colleagues, family, and friends in the Gila Valley,” said McCluskey. “My assistant coaches carried me through the years and without each of them our successes would not be as great. The Gila Valley and EAC embraced me as a coach and our softball program for over 30 years. I graduated with a master’s degree from Western New Mexico University and am a proud alumna from EAC. I’m a Gila Monster for life.”
McCluskey received the West District Coach of the Year as her team advanced to the National Tournament in Oxford, Alabama. McCluskey will stay on with Eastern Arizona College to run the Wellness Center and continue aiding the athletic program.
Assistant Coach Alexis Aguirre will step in as the Interim Head Softball Coach, leading the team for the 2023-24 season.
About Eastern Arizona College:
Eastern Arizona College – the first community college in Arizona – has helped students claim their dreams since 1888. With campuses in Thatcher, Globe, and Payson, EAC’s qualified and caring instructors prepare students for the most in-demand careers and advanced study at universities. EAC offers more than 80 certificates and degrees, including the #1 nursing school in Arizona, a fine arts program featuring the only marching band in Arizona, and an engineering program that brings students up to speed for success at universities and top-tiered firms. Students thrive at EAC, making friendships that last a lifetime. EAC’s vibrant student experience includes on-campus housing, more than 30 clubs and organizations, active intramurals, and nationally ranked athletic and e-sports teams. At EAC, most students leave with $0 debt. Let EAC provide an affordable way for you to claim your dreams. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (928) 428-8272 today.