April 15, 2013
Editor's Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa's Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Former Hawkeye Chelsey Carmody used to anchor the infields of the Big Ten Conference and annoy opposing pitchers. Now, she is trying to help current members of the University of Iowa softball team do the same.
Carmody is in her first season as a volunteer assistant coach for the UI softball program in 2013.
The Pacific, Mo., native started 208 career games in the Iowa infield. A career .335 hitter, she was a team co-captain and was the recipient of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award as a senior. She batted .320 or higher during each of her four seasons, totaling 234 career hits, 11 home runs, 87 RBIs and 42 stolen bases.
Carmody played for UI head coach Marla Looper in 2011 as a senior. Looper is glad to have her back in the program.
"She brings a lot of passion to the game," said Looper. "Chelsey said she really enjoyed the year she had with this coaching staff, and she wanted to come back and learn more."
"She stepped away for a year. We tried to get her to stay that year, but she was heading into the real world. Chelsey was gone long enough to realize she wanted to come back."
Carmody brings a wealth of knowledge to the team as a recent student-athlete and former Hawkeye -- a great combination.
"It is huge," said Looper. "She knows the vision we have and knows the direction we are trying to guide each player, because they are all different. She is not trying to implement someone else's philosophy, she is implementing our philosophy.
"The knowledge she does have, as being the most recent former player on our staff, allows her to implement what we want to accomplish and put it into action. She translates that very well to our middle infielders and to our slappers. She is the only left-handed slapper on our staff, so she has that mindset.
"It is great for the lefties to feed off her knowledge and learn from her. There is a rhyme and reason of where to put the ball, and she has been able to track that and help the lefties."
Carmody, who hit .583 (8-for-15), with a home run, two doubles, four RBIs and four runs scored during the 2008 NCAA Regional, is grateful to be back with the Hawkeyes.
"I have really enjoyed working with the girls this year," said Carmody, who wants to continue in coaching. "This team is working hard to get what they can out of each pitch.
"As an alumnus of the program, I want to see this team succeed on the field. Beyond that, it is nice to watch this group as they develop qualities that build character and success off the field as well. I am enjoying encouraging the culture that the staff and the girls are working to instill in Iowa softball, and am truly grateful for the guidance that Marla, Adrianna (Baggetta) and Stacy (May-Johnson) have given me as I develop who I am as a coach."
Carmody has helped build the program as both a player and a coach under Looper.
"She bought into our foundation and knows this program is going to good places," said Looper. "She is part of it, and wants to continue to be part of it and learn from it even more."
Carmody and the Hawkeyes return to the diamond on Wednesday, hosting No. 8 Missouri in a doubleheader at Pearl Field. First pitch of game one is scheduled for 3 p.m.