RMU Sentry Media

Timko takes next step with RMU softball

RMU Sentry Media

Anthony DeSimone, Staff Writer

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After achieving the highest career softball batting average in Robert Morris history, Jaci Timko wanted a way to stay with the program, and found that as a graduate assistant coach.

“After my last game as a Colonial, I just knew that was not going to be my last time on a softball field,” said Timko, who graduated from RMU in 2012 with a degree in psychology. “No way could I just walk away from something that was some much of my life.”

When Timko heard that the graduate assistant position was open, she immediately applied for it, and after an interviewing with the university, she was accepted into the graduate program, and subsequently hired as a coach.

“We knew that Jaci is one of the greatest players to ever play in our program,” said head coach Craig Coleman. “For someone who has just gotten into coaching, she has a great eye for talent.”

After a successful four year career dominating the outfield, Timko’s extreme talent and passion for the game has drawn her back to her alma mater to help push the softball team toward a Northeast Conference championship.

Timko, who is not only in charge of organizing practices, planning trips, and recruiting potential players, said it was a difficult transition to switch from being a player to a coach.

“I never knew how much thinking went on behind the scenes of this game.  As a player, you have some physical control over the outcome of the game. As a coach all I can do is go blue in the face with so much talking about ‘what should happen,’” said Timko, who was named to Academic All-District Second Team in 2010. “But I have confidence in each one of the girls that they can do an even better job than I ever could.”

The Chartiers-Houston graduate believes that losing as a coach is on a completely different level then losing as a player.

“I hold onto games much longer now than before and it takes me much longer to get over that ‘bitter’ feeling,” she said. “As a player, you have some physical control over the outcome of the game, but as a coach, you are telling the players what to do and you hope that you prepared the team and gave them the confidence they need to win. I have confidence in each one of the girls that they can do an even better job than I ever could.”

Coleman believes that Timko’s strenghs as a player will translate into a successful coaching career.

“We knew that she would help us to bring that same style to the rest of the team,” said the 23 year veteran head coach. “She has instant credibility because they [her teammates] have seen the way she played.”

Despite all the changes that have occurred in the past year, Timko is confident that the team will excel on the diamond this season and advance in the Northeast Conference Tournament.

“Each one of the girls is an amazing player and hitter in my eyes,” she added. “ I’m just there to keep the engine running smoothly.”

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