Kelly Sylvester has been named the head coach of the Austin College softball program, athletics director David Norman has announced. Sylvester most recently served as the head coach at Harford Community College in Bel Air, Maryland.
“We are excited to welcome Kelly to Austin College,” Norman said. “She brings a tremendous background in college athletics, as both a student-athlete and in coaching. Kelly understands the Division III experience, and is committed to the continued growth of our program both athletically and academically.”
Sylvester replaces Kathleen Laster, who resigng in early April a week after the college announced the cancellation of the remaining conference games in its spring season. The college has not provided details about the reason the season was cancelled nor why Laster resigned. In her two season at AC Laster was 10-42 overall and 4-24 in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Sylvester spent three seasons as the head coach at Harford, where she coached numerous all-conference players who also excelled in the classroom. Sylvester’s teams won more than 50 games in her tenure at Harford, advancing to the National Junior College Athletics Association Regional Championships in each of the last two seasons. Her program also became the first team sport at Harford to ever earn the NJCAA Team Academic Excellence Award.
“I’m beyond thrilled and grateful to be invited to bring my passion for building a values-centered softball program to Austin College,” Sylvester said. “Over the upcoming years, I’m excited to help our student-athletes compete and achieve both on and off the field.”
Prior to her time at Harford, Sylvester served two seasons as an assistant coach at Penn State University-Berks, helping guide that program to back-to-back conference championships. A member of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association and a Three-Star Master Coach, Sylvester has also worked as an instructor at numerous NCAA Division I softball camps, including Penn State, Kent State, and Lehigh University.
Sylvester received her undergraduate degree from Brooklyn College in 2010, and earned two masters degrees in Sports Management and English from Millersville University in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Sylvester’s career initially started in theatre as a welder before she was promoted to be Fulton Theatre’s Human Resources Administrator from 2007-2011, and she has experience in marketing and promotions for athletics from her time at Harford.
A native of Michigan, Sylvester initially attended Penn State before ultimately moving on to Brooklyn College, where she was a standout as the starting catcher for the softball program and also earned multiple scholar-athlete awards.