Byerley steps in as new assistant softball coach


Courtesy of Jack Byerley

Jack Byerley, assistant softball coach, winds up the bat at practice. Byerley, armed with decades of coaching experience from schools around the nation, has recently joined the Lions softball coaching staff.

A new assistant coach has been hired to train the softball team.

Jack Byerley was hired in July of 2019 to assist Rick Fremin, head coach of softball.

Byerley started his coaching career from Robertsdale High School in Robertsdale, Alabama. During his time coaching there, the team won state championships back-to-back. After starting a softball program at Central Alabama Community College, he took on an assistant coaching job at the University of Florida. During his time at the University of Florida, Byerley advanced to the NCAA Regional. He has also had coaching jobs at Auburn University, Northwest Florida State College and Spring Hill College.

Byerley arrived at the university after coaching numerous softball programs around the country.

“It has been a long journey, and the good Lord has taken me and my family to some fantastic places,” commented Byerley. “Each move has been blessed and was a fantastic move. I coached Northwest Florida State College for nine great years before this job. I enjoyed that job a lot, but God said that I was getting too complacent and took the job away from me. That is when Rich Fremin, the head softball coach, found me and told me that there was a position open here at Southeastern. That’s how I ended up here.”

Growing up in a military family, Byerley has been moving around the country his entire life. He went to three high schools in three different states and eventually received his diploma from Highland High School in Salt Lake City, Utah. He graduated from the University of South Alabama and started coaching immediately out of college at the high school level.

He initially coached high school men’s basketball, but he began to coach softball in 1989. Byerley explained what led him to switch positions.

“When I graduated, a gentleman asked me in August to coach the men’s basketball team at Robertsdale High School,” said Byerley. “I was 22 years old at the time. Back in 1989, the head softball coach at Robertsdale needed an assistant coach and asked me if I would do it. He went on to become the principal of the school, so I took over the program. It was an exciting time in softball in Alabama because we were making the transition from slow pitch softball to fast.”

With his many years of experience, Byerley has come to love many things about softball over the years.

“It is much faster than any other sport,” explained Byerley. “It is like soccer is to kickball. Soccer is fast, and the ball is moving everywhere compared to kickball, and I love how softball is that way. Another way to describe it is like baseball in a pinball machine. It is that compact, and the ball is going everywhere. Things are happening all over the place. The young ladies I have had the pleasure coaching are very dedicated to building a great team.”

Byerley also shared what he is most excited about regarding softball this year.

“I love the family atmosphere here,” shared Byerley. “This place is like a big family. Knowing that we have a lot to build on from last year. We have a great returning team. Just knowing that I have the opportunity to relax, coach and work with great people. It has been a ton of fun so far, and I am very excited to see what is in store this year.”