NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Following the last-minute departure of two coaches at Bethel College, Athletic Director Tony Hoops has announced the appointment of a new volleyball coach that also brings a change to softball.
Softball Head Coach Stacy Middleton will move to the head coach position in volleyball, while her husband, David Middleton, finishing three years as assistant softball coach, will now take the head coach role in that sport.
Former Head Volleyball Coach Scott Weston announced his resignation in late June.
Stacy (Koontz) Middleton has long experience with the Bethel volleyball program, first as a player and later as an assistant coach.
She is a 1995 graduate of Bethel College with a degree in health and physical education and elementary education, with a coaching minor.
As a Bethel student, Stacy Middleton participated in both volleyball and track and field. She was a two-year letter winner in volleyball as a defensive specialist and a four-year letter winner in track.
She was a member of KCAC volleyball championship teams as a sophomore (1992) and a senior (1994). On the track and field team, Middleton was a standout javelin thrower. She owns the women's javelin record for the KCAC Championship meet and Bethel College.
She also qualified for the NAIA National Track and Field Championships her sophomore, junior and senior years, finishing fifth, third and seventh, respectively.
Stacy Middleton returned to Bethel in 2007 as assistant volleyball coach. She remained in that position until 2012 and was part of the 2008 KCAC championship team.
In 2011, Stacy Middleton started Bethel's softball program. She will continue into the 7th season as associate head coach.
A graduate of Haven High School, Stacy Middleton has many years of softball and volleyball experience as an athlete, coupled with 10 years of club coaching experience while living in Texas and Kansas. She has been part of many club ball championships in both sports.
Stacy Middleton has helped develop several student-athletes who went on to successful college careers in both softball and volleyball, including two who played at the NCAA Division 1 level.
She has also assisted with the Jarrad Hardin softball camp in Kansas City, Kansas, and the NAIA Explosion Camp in Sacramento, California.
"I am thrilled with this opportunity to return to the volleyball program while still being involved with the softball team.," Stacy Middleton said. "I'm blessed to be part of both programs and I am looking forward to the challenge of bringing the volleyball team back to its winning tradition and continuing the record-breaking seasons of the softball team. What a great time to be a Thresher!"
"Bethel's volleyball program is rooted deep for many proud alumni," Hoops said. "As I began this search, I had a goal to bring back its strong tradition with someone who knows and understands what this program is all about.
"Stacy is someone I reached out to from the very beginning, and I am very pleased to have her be the face of Bethel volleyball going forward. As an alumna of the program, both as a player and assistant coach, she brings a wealth of knowledge to the position that I believe will help revive this program very quickly."
New Head Softball Coach David Middleton is a 1992 graduate of Sterling College, where he was a two-sport athlete in baseball and football. He has a B.A. in behavioral science with a minor in physical education and coaching.
He has many years of baseball and softball coaching experience, leading his 2011 and 2012 U18 softball teams to consecutive state championships and the 2012 team to a 7th-place finish at nationals. While coaching club ball, David Middleton helped develop many players who have gone on to compete at all college levels, including NCAA D-1.
David Middleton has also assisted in teaching outfield skills in the Jarrad Hardin camp in Kansas City and, most recently, the NAIA Explosion Camp in Sacramento.
As a recruiter, David Middleton has been associated with the Bethel softball program since its existence. He served as an assistant for the past three years, as outfield and hitting coach, and strength and conditioning coach.
He is certified through the National Exercise and Strength Trainers Association (NESTA).
"I am excited to step into the role as head softball coach," David Middleton said. "The vision that Stacy has set will not change for Bethel softball.
"It's great to still have Stacy's stability as the associate head coach and still be involved in all aspects of the program.
"I am very proud to be a part of such a great program that is headed for excellence. I want to thank Tony Hoops and [Interim] President John Sheriff for entrusting me to continue to lead this strong women's program."
"With the transition of Stacy taking over the volleyball program, I did not want to hinder the progress of our growing softball program," said Hoops. "This program is reaching new heights with its best record in school history this past season.
"I feel very confident in promoting David to head coach. David has done an outstanding job as a recruiter and the past three seasons as Stacy's assistant, and he is extremely knowledgeable of the game itself. He will do an outstanding job of continuing to lead this program to levels it hasn't reached before.
"The transition process, I feel, will be very smooth, with Stacy remaining as associate head coach, aiding in the day-to-day operations of the program that she created seven years ago. Our softball program will only become stronger as David and Stacy work together."
Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2016-17 Forbes.com analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see www.bethelks.edu.
In sports, Bethel competes within the 12-school Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference, and the NAIA. For more information, see www.bethelthreshers.com.
Bethel College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, age, gender, sexual orientation, parental or marital status, gender identity, gender expression, medical or genetic information, ethnic or national origins, citizenship status, veteran or military status or disability. E-mail questions to [email protected]