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Lady Govs softball field becomes Cheryl Holt Field

Austin Peay State University GovernorsClarksville, TN – Lady Govs softball field officially became Cheryl Holt Field, Saturday afternoon, in dedication ceremonies prior to Austin Peay State University’s softball doubleheader with Murray State.

Holt, who was Austin Peay’s head volleyball coach for 23 years and has served in the University’s athletics administration since 1997, was Austin Peay’s first softball coach when the program was initiated in 1986. The dedication was part of APSU’s Celebration of Women’s Athletics weekend.

Cheryl Holt takes the microphone from former Lady Govs softball player Susan Cole after the tarp was pulled to dedicate the field to Holt. APSU President Tim Hall, left, also took part in the dedication ceremonies. (Austin Peay Sports Information)
Cheryl Holt takes the microphone from former Lady Govs softball player Susan Cole after the tarp was pulled to dedicate the field to Holt. APSU President Tim Hall, left, also took part in the dedication ceremonies. (Austin Peay Sports Information)

Holt was joined on the field for the dedication by APSU President Tim Hall along with Women’s in Athletics co-chairs Nancy Howell and Susan Cole, who was a member of the first Lady Govs softball team.

Three other 1986 team members, Jane Goodson, Regina Suggs Clark and Ginny Gray Davis, pulled the cords on the centerfield tarp to unveil the newly-named field.

“This is one of the proudest moments of my life and at the same time one of the most humbling as well,” said Holt, who introduced members of her family.

APSU’s assistant athletics director since 2003, Holt acknowledged former APSU Athletics Director Johnny Miller for hiring her at Austin Peay as well as subsequent athletics directors and university administrators who supported her and the athletics program. Specifically, she gave credit to all the former student-athletes who helped make the day possible.

Holt amassed 363 victories as APSU head volleyball coach—most of her victories came in her final 13 years as coach when more emphasis was placed on women’s sports, but in particular, volleyball—and 499 overall Division I victories in 28 years.

In 1982, Holt came back to Clarksville and Austin Peay, the school where she attained her master’s after earning her bachelor’s from Ohio in 1969.

Holt’s coaching career began at Austin Peay during an era when women’s sports coaches were asked to coach multiple sports—she was hired to coach volleyball and women’s tennis in 1982. A four-time OVC Volleyball Coach of the Year, she also served as assistant women’s basketball coach.

When Austin Peay initiated the softball program in 1986, the-late Bob Brooks, athletics director at the time, asked Holt to initiate the program. Using mostly student-athletes from other teams like women’s basketball and volleyball, Holt was able to field a team for the 1986 season, playing their games at city-owned Edith Pettus Park. She coached the team again in 1987.

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