The State Fair Community College Softball program will have a new leader for the 2022-2023 season. Assistant Softball Coach Michele Rupard has been named SFCC’s Head Softball Coach.  

“I have been at SFCC for the past four years,” said Rupard. “I have grown a love in my heart for the people of Sedalia and State Fair Community College. It makes sense for me to stay here and step up for the college, as well as our returners and the incoming class we are bringing into our program.”

In 2022, Rupard was inducted in to the Central Methodist University Hairston Hall of Fame, and SFCC earned the program’s third consecutive NJCAA Academic Team Award.

“I would like to say thank you to my wife Skyler who allowed us to move to Sedalia so I could pursue my dream of coaching college softball,” said Rupard. “I would also like to say thank you to my family for being so supportive throughout the journey.”

Coach Rupard brings a wealth of experience as a student athlete, collegiate coach, and umpire to her position.

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Rupard served as a tournament director for Midwest Sports Production in Kansas City beginning May 2018. She was responsible for recording scores in an online database. She managed the support staff for the tournaments and served as a baseball and softball umpire for Metro Umpires KC beginning in June 2012.

Rupard served as the head coach for the Reserve Team at Central Methodist University from August 2017 to May 2018. She was responsible for in-game management and performed game day operations. She recruited and conducted reserve team practices for 30 student-athletes.

From August 2016 through May 2018, Rupard served as a graduate assistant softball coach at CMU. She assisted with day-to-day and game day operations. Rupard assisted with varsity hitting and worked with catchers and outfielders during practice. She also assisted with field maintenance, organized fundraising and student-athlete schedules.

Prior to her time at Central Methodist as a coach, she was an assistant softball coach at Metropolitan Community College-Maple Woods from August 2015 to May 2016. She managed team travel and assisted with game-day operations. She put together hitting schedules and routines and worked with pitchers and catchers.

Rupard had a standout four-year playing career at CMU. She helped her team to four consecutive Heart of America Conference Championships. She was a two-time National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-American catcher in 2014 and 2015. She was named the NFCA NAIA Catcher of the Year in 2014 and earned NAIA All-American honors three times as a catcher in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Rupard earned a Missouri Sports Hall of Fame Special Achievement Award in 2014.

“I would like to thank Lyndsey Talbot and SFCC Athletic Director Darren Pannier for this opportunity,” said Rupard. “Lyndseyhas been helping prepare me for a head coaching job; I just got lucky that the opportunity came at State Fair. This is a place that I’m familiar with and I’m comfortable with. I believe I’ll be able to find a lot of success here. I’m excited for Coach Talbot and her future opportunity; the NFCA office is the pinnacle of softball administration. I’m excited about the class that we have coming in. It will be a good first year for me because I have experience with all our players who we have coming in. I’m also excited that our volunteer Assistant Coach Bria White is going to return and help our program. I’m looking forward to finding another assistant to help round out our coaching staff.”

Rupard also exceled academically in college, making the Central Methodist Dean’s List three times as a student-athlete. In 2015, she earned NFCA Academic All-American honors and received the Darla Pannier Outstanding Female Athlete Award.

“Michele was an outstanding collegiate player at Central Methodist,” said Pannier. “She has worked with Lyndsey (Talbot) for four years in our athletic department. It was an easy decision to promote her. I feel confident that she can move the program forward. We are happy that Michele will continue to be part of our athletic department. Her goal was to be a head coach and now she gets that opportunity here at SFCC.”

Rupard earned her bachelor’s degree from Central Methodist in June 2015 in Athletic Training. She also earned a master’s degree in Athletic Administration from Central Methodist in May 2018.

 

--David Rohrbach, SFCC Athletics