Shurette Tapped As New Cleveland Softball Skipper

Moves Up After Three Years in Assistant Role

  • Tuesday, June 25, 2024
  • Joe Cannon
LeeAnne Shurette
LeeAnne Shurette

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — After three years as an assistant coach, LeeAnne Shurette is taking over the reins of the Cleveland High softball program.

Shurette is "bringing with her a rich legacy of experience and passion for the sport. With a coaching career spanning over 20 years, Shurette has dedicated herself to developing young athletes and fostering a love for softball," stated a press release from the Cleveland City Schools.

“I believe coaching is a ministry and that we should use the sport to teach valuable life lessons," commented Coach Shurette who has helped the team to back-to-back 22-win seasons.

"I’m thankful for the opportunity to continue working with our group of talented and dedicated young women.

"All of the former players have laid a foundation for us to continue to build a championship program so that down the road, all future Lady Raiders will have a chance to continue the legacy,” she added.

Working with former head coach KJ Harris, Shurette directed the Lady Raiders to the programs first-ever District 5 championship this past season, plus a spot i nthe Region 3 semifinals.

After a Top 6 ranking in the Maxpreps polls in 2023, Cleveland topped out at No. 16 this spring.

Softball is a deep-rooted tradition in the Shurette family, and LeeAnne has exemplified this heritage through her own athletic achievements.

As a standout pitcher and infield at Ooltewah High School, she made a significant impact on the field during her college years at Tennessee Tech.

Shurette’s Golden Eagle resume is one of the most impressive in Tennessee Tech athletics history.

It includes not only success on the softball field, but Academic All-America selections and TTU Woman of the Year honors that reflect her overall contributions to the university. Those credentials have landed her in the Tech Sports Hall of Fame.

A starter on the softball team from the day she set foot on campus, she helped take the Golden Eagles to two NCAA Tournaments and capture two Ohio Valley Conference regular-season and tournament championships.

The power-hitting first baseman batted fourth in the lineup for four seasons (2000-03) and was one of the most dangerous hitters in the league, helping the team produce a combined 161-94 record and an astounding 65-17 mark against OVC foes.

With Shurette clubbing extra-base hits from the cleanup spot, the Golden Eagles rolled to Ohio Valley Conference tournament championships in 2001 and 2003 and she was a three-time first-team All-OVC selection.

Her grades placed her on the OVC Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll all four years and she was a member of the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll in each of her eight semesters.

In 2002, she was voted CoSIDA Academic All-District followed by Academic All-America. She repeated those two honors as a senior in 2003. She is one of just six student-athletes in Tech history to win multiple Academic All-America awards.

She capped off her list of academic awards with back-to-back President’s Awards for her sport and was chosen as Tech’s NCAA Woman of the Year in 2003.

Her success on the field mirrored her classroom achievements. She was voted First-Team All-OVC three straight seasons, and named all-region in 2002. That same year she was selected the OVC Player of the Year. She played her way onto the OVC all-tournament team all four seasons.

She was chosen the team MVP in 2002 and was also the winner of the Best Offensive Player award as a junior.

After serving as an assistant coach under Rick May at Chattanooga Central, Shurette took over the Lady Pounder program, leading them to seven District 6-AA Regular Season Championships, six District 6-AA Tournament Championships, six Region 3-AA Championships, six TSSAA Sectional appearances and four Class AA State appearances from 2010-17.

After stepping aside for a coule of years, she returned to help coach Central in 2020 and '21 before moving to Cleveland High.

Now, as she steps into her new role with the Lady Raiders, "Coach Shurette is poised to inspire and lead a new generation of softball players, instilling in them the same passion and commitment that has defined her illustrious career," the CCS release said.

“We are so excited to see Coach Shurette and the Lady Raiders continue to build on their recent success," statede CHS Principal Bob Pritchard. "Within three years as an assistant coach, she has already been an integral part in building one of the most successful softball teams in CHS history.”

CHS Athletic Director Al Morris added, “This was an easy decision. Knowing Coach Shurette and what she brings to the table, we knew we already had one of the best softball coaches within our school building. I’m excited to work with her within this new capacity.”

(Contact Joe Cannon at joe.cannon@clevelandbanner.com)

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