Emily Swank-Kavanaugh is hoping to maintain the high standards of the Westerville South High School softball program set by her predecessor.

Swank-Kavanaugh has been named coach, pending school board approval. She replaces Jerry Kelbley, who retired after 36 seasons.

Swank-Kavanaugh, 27, was an assistant coach at Olentangy from 2013-16 and at Grove City Christian in 2010.

“The biggest thing is making sure the community still respects and understands what a legend Jerry is,” said Swank-Kavanaugh, who teaches English at South. “He put the imprint on the school that goes well beyond the softball field.”

A 2007 Central Crossing graduate, Swank-Kavanaugh played at Otterbein University before graduating in 2012, but her college career was limited because of a shoulder injury.

“We are very excited about the recommendation to the board to put coach Swank in place for Wildcat softball,” South principal Michael Starner said. “She has the expertise as a former player and leadership skills to move the program forward. She connects well with student-athletes, and we are excited for the future of our program.

“On top of everything, coach Swank is an outstanding classroom teacher. She is up there with the best of the best.”

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