|Jeff Morganti, Head Coach | Softball|
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The Lakeland Community College athletic department has announced the hiring of Jeff Morganti to the position of head softball coach. Morganti brings with him a wealth of coaching experience at the high school and collegiate level. He has coached softball for the past ten years and spent the previous two seasons as an assistant coach at nearby Lake Erie College.
In his two years with the Storm, four student-athletes earned honorable mention all-conference accolades from the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC), one of the premier NCAA Division II conferences in the nation. Additionally, ten were named to the GLIAC All-Academic Team for carrying a cumulative GPA of 3.0-3.49 and eight more earned GLIAC Academic Excellence Team selections for maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or greater.
Prior to his tenure in Painesville, Morganti spent eight seasons leading a pair of high school varsity programs. From 2003-2009 he was the head coach at Eastlake North High School where he led the Rangers to three conference titles and the first district title and regional appearance in program history. He was named News-Herald and Plain-Dealer coach of the year in 2003 and 2008 after guiding Eastlake North to Premier Athletic Conference (PAC) championships. In his seven years at the helm the Rangers amassed 125 wins and boasted 20 First Team All-Conference players. He then spent a year as the head varsity coach at West Geauga High School before accepting the position with Lake Erie College.
Morganti becomes the fifth coach in the 27-year history of Lakeland softball and will inherit one of the strongest offensive lineups in the region. Last year, the Lakers finished ninth in the nation (NJCAA Division II) in homeruns with 48 despite playing at least five fewer games than every other team in the top-10. Lakeland went 22-18, finished third in the OCCAC, and advanced to the semifinals of the Region 12, District H tournament.
The Kirtland, Ohio native is a cum laude graduate of the University of Akron with a degree in Mass-Media Communication. He went on to earn a teaching certificate in special education and a Master’s in Communication from Cleveland State University. He has been employed as an intervention specialist with the Willoughby-Eastlake school district since 1996. A member of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) and the Ohio High School Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association (OHSFSCA), Morganti resides in Mentor with his wife, Deanna.
|Kara Fitzgerald, Assistant Coach | Softball|
Kara Fitzgerald enters her first season as a member of the Lakeland softball coaching staff after spending the previous two seasons as a starting pitcher for the Lakers.
In her two years with the program, Fitzgerald amassed 15 wins and 78 strikeouts with over 200 innings pitched. As a sophomore, the right-hander hurled 16 complete games and was named to the District H All-Tournament Team after helping Lakeland stave off elimination with a complete-game victory against Macomb. In her first collegiate season, the Willowick native led Lakeland in innings pitched, wins, strikeouts, and earned run average.
Fitzgerald played for Coach Morganti at Eastlake North High School from 2009-11 where she earned Second Team All-Conference honors as a senior.
|Shelley Monas, Assistant Coach | Softball|
Shelley Monas brings over three decades of coaching and administrative experience to the Lakeland softball program in her first season as an assistant coach. Monas’ coaching career includes stints at Mercyhurst College (NCAA Division II) and Allegheny College (NCAA Division III) as well as numerous high school programs.
Her career began at Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pennsylvania, where she helped guide the softball program to four consecutive Keystone Conference championships from 1979-83 and posted the only undefeated season in school history. In 1985, she was named head varsity softball coach at Northwestern High School in nearby Albion, Pennsylvania. In her five years at Northwestern, Monas led the program to the quarterfinals of the state tournament and the first undefeated season in Erie County League history. She earned Erie County League Coach of the Year honors that same season.
She returned to the collegiate ranks in 1990 after being named head softball coach at Allegheny College. In short time, Monas re-established Allegheny as a national contender. She helped guide the Gators to an NCAA Regional Championship in 1993 en route to National and Regional Coach of the Year honors from the National Fast-Pitch Coaches Association (NFCA). While at Allegheny, she also served as a member of the NCAA Division III All-American selection committee.
Monas spent the subsequent seven years as athletic director at Seton School in Meadville, Pennsylvania where she was responsible for the leadership and direction of the entire athletic program.
She returned to coaching at Meadville High School where she led the varsity program to the quarterfinals of the state tournament, six straight Crawford County Conference championships, and a District X championship from 1997-2002.
In 2003 she took over at Edgewood High School in Ashtabula. Monas helped the Warriors advance to the OHSAA State semifinals in 2006 and claim seven consecutive Northeastern Conference (NEC) championships from 2003-09. Monas was a six-time Coach of the Year selection by the Star-Beacon during that span, which included seven sectional championships and six appearances in the district finals.
Currently, Monas works at Perry High School where she serves as an online health teacher and faculty manager. She is also a staff member at the Perry Community Fitness Center. She resides in Perry with her husband, John. Their son, Kent, attended Cleveland State University where he was four-year member of the Vikings’ golf team.