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Bill Kennedy

Marian Kn


During the 2009 Illinois State softball team’s spring season, Illinois State te honored two integral contributors in Marian Kneer and Bill er Softball Stadium in honor of Kneer, Kneer while Kennedy retired Kennedy. The Redbird softball complex was renamed the Marian Kneer after more than two decades with the Redbirds. Kneer earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Illinois State. In the early 1970s, she pioneered the inclusion of women’s sports in the Illinois High School Association, two years prior to the passage of the Title IX Education Amendment (1972). Kneer was inducted into the ISU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1976 and became a member of the College of Education Hall of Fame in 2004. She is also a member of the Greater Peoria and National Association for Sport and Physical Education Halls of Fame. Kneer is the co-author of “Softball, Fast & Slow Pitch,” a publication now in its sixth edition and part of the curricula in many softball classes since 1967. Kneer was born in Peoria, Ill., and graduated from Woodruff High School. She went on to earn her doctorate in physical education from the University of Michigan, and was termed “the world’s greatest softball catcher” in the late 1950s. Kneer is a member of the Illinois Softball Hall of Fame and the Illinois Coaches Association for Girls and Women Hall of Fame. Kennedy began coaching at Illinois State the same year that Fischer became the Redbirds’ head coach: 1986. He mentored a total of four All-Americans; five National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Region First- or Second-Team members; three Missouri Valley Conference Softball Players of the Year; one Valley Rookie of the Year; and 21 All-Missouri Valley Conference First- or Second-Team honorees. Kennedy was also a member of Illinois State’s 2006 coaching staff, which was named The Valley Coaching Staff of the Year, as well as the NFCA/Speedline Coaching Staff of the Year. From 2000-08, Illinois State’s pitching staff, under the direction of Kennedy, posted a combined 2.03 ERA. ISU’s 1.42 team ERA in 2003 was the team’s lowest since the 1987 season. In all, Illinois State softball pitchers have set 11 team season records under Kennedy. Kennedy, who retired as a principal and teacher in the Heyworth School District after 30 years of service, earned both his undergraduate and master’s degrees from Illinois State.

2010 Redbird Softball Media Guide


2010 Illinois State Softball Media Guide  
2010 Illinois State Softball Media Guide  

An indepth look of the Illinois State softball program.