Longtime area college softball coach announces retirement

Published 1:47 pm Thursday, January 18, 2024

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When Vance Edwards was hired to build a softball program at Lamar State College Port Arthur, he started with little more than big plans and a desire to create a program that would help young women excel on the field and in the classroom.

Now, 20 years later, as he looks back on a generation of athletes who have helped fulfill his original goals, Edwards has decided it’s time to let his legacy stand on its own.

He announced his retirement this month as the Seahawks head softball coach.

“Of course, our goal every year is to win games, and there’s a lot to learn from the experiences on the field and spending time together as a team,” Edwards said. “But what makes me most proud are the academic achievements we’ve seen over the last 20 years. Those accomplishments empowered many young women as they moved into their adult lives. That’s the kind of impact that lasts a lifetime.”

As the 2024 season begins later this month, assistant coach Brittany Baker will serve as interim head coach.

Baker has been with the program since the Spring 2018 season.

Edwards came to LSCPA in 2004 and led the Seahawks onto the diamond for the first time in the spring of 2005.

After a year as an independent program, the Seahawks entered NJCAA Division I play in 2006.

By the early 2010s, the Seahawks had become a force within the region. In 2012, the Hawks won 29 games and reached the 30-game win mark in both 2015 and 2017. Two years ago, LSCPA struggled to reach the NJCAA Region 14 Tournament but then capitalized on the opportunity by reaching the tourney championship game before falling to San Jacinto College.

Over his nearly two-decade career, Edwards has coached 30 All-Region South Zone players, 18 All-Region players, has had four NJCAA All-Americans, and five NFCA All-Americans.

“I’ll always cherish the memories of the hundreds of players who I’ve had the privilege of coaching,” Edwards said. “I’m fortunate to have had them as part of my life.”