McKendree softball coach Evelyn Bean on Wednesday announced her resignation, a move that will be effective July 1.
Bean, who dealt with a series of health issues during the 2014-15 academic year, closes out her 18-year coaching career as McKendree’s all-time leader in wins with 518.
Bean helped lead the Bearcats through their transition to NCAA Division II membership and their first three seasons as members of the Great Lakes Valley Conference.
Including 215 victories in 10 seasons at Lewis & Clark Community College before coming to McKendree in 1997, Bean registered more than 700 wins as a softball coach.
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“We are thankful to Evelyn Bean for many reasons,” McKendree Athletics Director Chuck Brueggemann said in a statement released by the university. “First of all, we thank her for devoting the last 18 years to coaching our softball program, leading the Bearcats to success both on and off the field. We are grateful for the impact she has had on the lives of her student-athletes.
“More importantly, we are thankful that Evelyn continues to recover from the health issues she has experienced over the last year. She has taken this challenge head-on, and her courageous fight has been an inspiration to all within our department.”
McKendree made three NAIA Tournament appearances under Bean, including a fifth-place finish in 1999. The Bearcats captured three American Midwest Conference regular-season championships and a pair of AMC Tournament titles along the way. Bean was named the AMC Coach of the Year three times and was a two-time NAIA Region Coach of the Year.
“I have enjoyed the last 18 years immensely at McKendree,” Bean said in a statement. “There are so many people I need to thank, and first and foremost are the student-athletes that I have been able to coach. They have played an exceptional role in our success, working hard to help us attain our goals both athletically and academically.
“I am also thankful to the administration for providing me an opportunity to continue to interact with students in an effort to ensure their academic success. While I transition away from the coaching profession, I will still be around the lifelong friends I have made during my time at McKendree.”
Bean also was the Bearcats’ head volleyball coach from 1997-2011. In those 15 years, she amassed 317 victories on the McKendree bench and led the program to nine 20-win seasons.
Bean will continue to work at McKendree in the area of student advising. Brueggemann said a search for Bean’s successor will begin immediately.