Fourteen days after her older brother was named interim head coach of the Ohio State football team, Leah Howard also got a promotion.

Fourteen days after her older brother was named interim head coach of the Ohio State football team, Leah Howard also got a promotion.

On June 13, Howard was named coach of the Dublin Coffman High School softball team, replacing Kevin Finan, who stepped down after five seasons. Howard had served as an assistant under Finan for the 2011 season.

Luke Fickell had been the assistant head coach of the Buckeyes before making national headlines on May 30 when he was promoted to replace Jim Tressel, who resigned after 10 seasons.

"We're excited to add an excellent teacher and coach in Leah. I just feel bad for Luke that his sister had to overshadow him this way so soon after he was hired as a head coach," Coffman athletics director Tony Pusateri said with a laugh. "Seriously, though, Leah did a great job as Kevin's assistant this past season, and when Kevin resigned, we knew she would be the perfect fit for the job."

Howard, who will teach math at Coffman, has an extensive softball background as both a player and coach, as she earned four varsity letters in the sport at DeSales before graduating in 1993.

Then at Shawnee State, she helped lead the Bears to four Mid-South Conference championships and earned NAIA all-American Scholar Athlete honors on the Bears' 1996 national runner-up team.

Howard was an assistant coach at DeSales in 1998 and '99 before serving as an assistant coach at Morehead State in Kentucky in 2000.

From 2001 through 2005, she was the coach at DeSales before moving to Bangkok, Thailand, to teach at the Thai-Chinese International School for the 2005-06 school year. She returned to central Ohio to coach Hamilton Township in 2007 before moving to Honolulu, Hawaii.

After having a baby last fall, Howard returned to central Ohio and began serving as Coffman's assistant coach.

"I'm excited about this opportunity because I enjoy being around the kids and helping them, and I want to give back to the game I love," Howard said. "The kids already know me, so it should be a smooth transition going from an assistant to head coach.

"We're losing eight seniors, but we have some good athletes coming back. Our goal is to continue getting better and better."

Finan compiled a 62-72 record during his tenure with the Shamrocks. This spring, Coffman finished 8-19 overall and 3-11 in the OCC-Central Division and lost to Olentangy Liberty 2-1 in the first round of the Division I district tournament.

Finan resigned to spend more time concentrating on his duties as an assistant football coach at Coffman. Since Mark Crabtree was hired as football coach in 2001, Finan has coached the defensive linemen.

Even though he will no longer be the head coach the softball team, Finan said he will continue to work as its strength coach and groundskeeper.

"Coaching two sports has been hard for me, and this was the perfect time to step down because we've got a great replacement in place," Finan said.

"I loved coaching softball and did the best I could, but I'm a football coach. Leah's a (heck) of a better softball coach than I am, so this is a win-win for everybody. The one last thing I can do to make this program better is to step down and let Leah take the job."