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Sterner's example leads to HCC softball job

July 18, 2008|By BOB PARASILITI

Amy Sterner has a chance to use her "live by example" attitude in the environment that provided her with the example she lives by.

Sterner was named the head coach of the Hagerstown Community College softball team on Thursday, giving her the opportunity to work and give back to the place and the sport that gave her all the opportunities she now enjoys.

"I have a passion for the sport and I feel very strongly about Hagerstown Community College," Sterner said. "HCC gave me a chance when I came here. When I came to school here, I was a single mom and I never dreamed I would have a chance to compete again. Being able to play again gave me so many great experiences and they afforded me so many opportunities."

Sterner, who played softball and basketball for HCC before graduating and taking positions in the school's athletic complex facilities department, replaces Dave Brooks. Brooks elected not to return for a third season, according to HCC athletic director Bo Myers.

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"Amy has played here and worked here for a number of years," Myers said. "She is a great role model for the kids. She is a tremendous talent and is a good leader. She will be a boon to the program. I'm happy to have her and glad to have another woman coach for our young women to work with."

Sterner was elevated to the position after spending three years as an assistant - two under Brooks. She loves the idea of coaching softball, but admits there are a few things to learn.

"I love softball. It gets in your blood," Sterner said. "I love playing, I love coaching and I love working with the young girls. We are behind the 8-ball with recruiting, but we have been getting a quick tutorial. Dave is a fantastic recruiter and did all of it while he was here. We are finding our way and still looking for the talent to fill out the roster."

Marsha Moats will stay on as Sterner's assistant and is helping with the recruiting.

The Hawks finished the 2008 season with a 23-4 record, including a 15-1 mark in the Maryland JuCo Conference. They were eliminated on the first day of the Region XX tournament.

This will be Sterner's first softball head coaching position. She was an assistant and then the head coach for Southern Fulton's volleyball program in the 1990s. Soon after, she returned to HCC to continue her education and it turned into a chance to resume her athletic career and then, ultimately, her professional career.

"I try to use those experiences as my foundation and how I portray my professional life," Sterner said. "I want our players to realize the opportunity they have - the chance to get an education while playing softball. I would like to see them make softball work for them, to possibly move on to a four-year school and to help them with their lives."

Sterner's twist of fate may have given her the chance many successful people ask for - a chance to give back.

"This program is a big part of my life," Sterner said. "I've been part of it and this school for a long time as a player, as a staff member and as an assistant coach. I wanted to keep this program at the level it has been at under Dave and keep it going.

"We lost a lot of sophomores, but we have a great core of kids. We are going to work as hard as we can, do our best and hope we will be successful."

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