As a player for the Ready softball team, Ashleigh Katzenmoyer had a wealth of aggressiveness and enthusiasm. She is hoping to offer those same traits as the coach of the Westerville Central High School softball team.

As a player for the Ready softball team, Ashleigh Katzenmoyer had a wealth of aggressiveness and enthusiasm. She is hoping to offer those same traits as the coach of the Westerville Central High School softball team.

Katzenmoyer, 24, was named coach last week, replacing Rick Branaghan, who stepped down after last season.

It's been a whirlwind year for Katzenmoyer. Last June, she married former Ohio State and New England Patriots linebacker Andy Katzenmoyer. In April, she gave birth to the couple's first child, Ava Leigh. In January, she joined her husband and brother, John Quint, in opening the Life Improvement Functional Training Center in Westerville.

Now she is preparing for her first coaching assignment at the varsity level

"I'm excited to be back with a team," she said. "I can be a role model for the girls and show them that you can have softball in your life even after college. There are other ways going about doing it. I'm thrilled."

Katzenmoyer -- whose maiden name is Quint -- is a 2001 graduate of Ready, where she was first-team all-CCL and second-team all-district in Division III as a senior. Katzenmoyer began her high school career as a pitcher, but shoulder surgery after her sophomore season ended her time in the circle. Katzenmoyer moved to the outfield, providing Ready with a spark offensively and defensively.

Katzenmoyer played softball at Ohio Dominican and Otterbein before foot surgery ended her playing career. She graduated from Otterbein in 2004 and received her masters from The Graduate Institute in Milford, Conn. -- an affiliate of Yale -- in integrative medicine in 2007.

Katzenmoyer coached the Genoa Middle School team to an undefeated season in 2004, capping her first softball coaching assignment.

"I think the girls will certainly connect with her," athletics director Andy Ey said. "One of her coaching stops was at Genoa Middle School, so she has coached some of these girls."

Senior third baseman Jackie Broyles was a member of the undefeated team at Genoa.

"She always kept energy up and she was really easy going," Broyles said. "I really learned a lot from her. I'm really looking forward to this. When my dad told me I was so excited. I know she'll be great."

Katzenmoyer was the junior varsity coach at DeSales in 2006, guiding the Stallions to 21-2 record and the CCL title. Katzenmoyer also served as a hitting and baseball/softball camp instructor at Larry Thomas' Hitting School in Grove City.

Katzenmoyer not only expects to provide softball knowledge to her new team, she also wants to stress the importance of fitness through her field of expertise. She plans on instilling an offseason training program.

"I want them to respect me," she said. "I don't want them to focus or think about my age because I know I'm young. I do have a lot of experience. I've gone through a lot. I understand a lot about life and there's so much more for me to learn, but what I know now is what I want to instill in these girls. I want to be that role model for them but yet be their coach that they're able to rely on me and give me their trust as I am going to give them my trust in the game."

Hugo Quint, a longtime area coach and Katzenmoyer's father, will serve as her assistant.

"I've never been a varsity head coach, so everyone is like, 'You're young, you don't have all that experience', but the way I look at it, I've learned off of my dad for many years," she said. "He can guide me and groom me as being a great head coach because he knows the ins and outs and what it's like just being a high school coach."

"Ashleigh has a big background in the game," Ey said. "With her enthusiasm, her energy, her background in conditioning and fitness combined with her knowledge of softball, it gives her the opportunity to be a good coach."