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Former SIU Softball Coach Kay Brechtelsbauer passes away

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SIU Athletics
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SIU Athletics announced her death Sunday

Saluki Hall of Fame Coach Kay Brechtelsbauer has died.

SIU Athletics announced Brechtelsbauer's passing on Sunday. She was the head softball coach for 32 seasons - the most of any woman in SIU history.

In her time as coach, Brechtelsbauer notched more than 600 wins, and posted winning seasons 27 times. Her teams made the College World Series five times.

Fellow Hall of Famer Kerri Blaylock called Brechtelsbauer a game-changer.

"Coach Brechtelsbauer was a trailblazer in the sport of softball. She had such an unbelievable impact on me and so many student athletes in her 32 years at SIU as the Head Softball Coach. She thrived in a time of low budgets, travel difficulties and facility issues. She taught all of us so many valuable lessons. She loved SIU and made this her home. She literally changed the course of my life with one phone call and a job offer. She will be missed by everyone of her athletes and assistant coaches that worked with her."

Current Softball Coach Jen Sewell says the legacy will live on.

"Every time we put our feet on Kay Brechtelsbauer Field I think about her legacy. Female coaches and athletes are keenly aware of what pioneers like Coach B went through to launch their programs and to operate at a championship level the way she did. The Saluki Softball culture today of servant leadership, accountability, and excellence in everything we do was established by Kay. Kerri and I are just the lucky understudies of her mentorship and friendship surrounding the sport of softball. To succeed Coach B meant to carry on the standard of excellence she established here at SIU in the 1960s. She will be dearly missed by our program."

A visitation and funeral is scheduled for Tuesday (9/13) at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Carbondale.

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