GREENVILLE, Ill. -- Greenville College has accepted the resignations of senior women’s administrator and head softball coach Jamie Thanepohn and assistant softball coach Jenny Dowsey. Both stepped away from their positions for personal reasons. Assistant coach John Barnes has been promoted to interim head coach and will lead the Lady Panther softball squad for the remainder of the season. Brianne Hair and Whitney Kessler, both former Greenville College assistant softball coaches, have rejoined the program as interim assistant coaches. The college will conduct a national search for the program’s permanent successors upon completion of the season.
The Lady Panther softball team is in the midst of one of its most successful seasons in recent memory. The squad holds an overall record of 15-7, including a second place mark of 8-2 in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Greenville defeated MacMurray 10-0 and 10-3 on the road in a Wednesday doubleheader in the first games of Barnes' tenure. Greenville has exceeded the preseason expectations of conference coaches as it was predicted seventh in the opening conference poll.
Barnes, former head softball coach at Mulberry Grove (Ill.) High School, accrued an overall record of 230-65 in 11 years at the school. He is a 1999 graduate of Greenville College and played for the Panther baseball program. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Greenville College and an associate’s degree from Kaskaskia College. He is currently a deputy for the Bond County Sheriff’s Department.
While at Mulberry Grove, 32 of his players went to college to participate in softball. He coached 12 all-state players, 10 conference MVP’s, and 96 all-conference players. His teams won 10 conference championships and five regional championships. They made appearances in the Sweet 16 three times. He was the Illinois Coaches Association coach of the year in 2007, Vandalia Leader Union coach of the year in 2007 and 2008, and Greenville Advocate coach of the year in 2011.
Concurrent to his high school appointment, Barnes coached the Mulberry Grove junior high softball team during the same time span. The junior high teams won six regionals and three sectionals. They advanced to the Sweet 16 five times, Elite 8 three times, and Final Four once. They compiled a record of 188-50.
Barnes has also been involved with organizing the Mulberry Grove Jaguars fastpitch program. With five levels of teams (10U, 12U, 14U, 16U, and 18U), Barnes has developed one of the top travel teams in the area. The club has won numerous tournaments and state championships. They also have placed in national tournaments.
The Lady Panther softball program will continue to represent Greenville College with class as it aims to post the highest win total in a single season since the 1997 squad went 27-10.