With her appointment in January 2005, Marlena Kotynski became the first full-time softball only coach at Shenandoah University.
Now with more than 200 career wins and a 2011 USA South Conference Tournament championship under her belt, Kotynski has her sights set on national recognition for her program.
Kotynski came to SU after working from 2003-2005 in private softball instruction. Previous to her experience at Zoned, Incorporated, the native of Lyndhurst, N.J. was the top assistant softball coach at Rutgers University from 2001 through 2003.
A 2001 Seton Hall graduate, Kotynski played four years of softball for the Pirates and earned All-Region and All-Big East Conference honors as a senior. Seton Hall also participated in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history in her final season at the South Orange, N.J. school.
As an assistant at Rutgers, Kotynski had primary responsibility as the Scarlet Knights hitting and outfield coach while also serving as the recruiting coordinator. Rutgers improved its batting average by at least 35 points during each of her two seasons at the Big East institution.
Kotynski's first five seasons at the helm of the Hornets were marked by significant improvement each year.
In 2005, despite taking over just weeks before the season started, Kotynski led SU to its most successful season in 12 years as the squad won double digit contests for the second consecutive year and made its furthest trip ever into the USA South Conference Tournament.
Additionally, Kotynski had the program's first first-team All-USA South Conference performer in five years when freshman Tana Bartek was honored as a utility player. Bartek also earned USA South All-Tournament honors with her pitching selection after defeating No. 4 seed NC Wesleyan and No. 2 Greensboro College.
In 2006, Kotynski again increased the team's overall and conference win totals while increasing the team's strength of schedule. SU had one player, Kristen Templeton, earn All-USA South Conference honors while Templeton and fellow freshman Katie Haskins both earned league Rookie of the Week honors.
In 2007, Kotynski led Shenandoah to a school-record 19 overall victories and the team's first-ever appearance in the USA South Tournament championship game. Kotynski's team had two All-USA South Conference performers, saw four student-athletes named to the USA South All-Tournament team and also set a new school-record for conference victories.
2008 brought the breakout season - Kotynski's club set school records for overall and conference victories as the Hornets captured the USA South Conference regular season crown for the first time in school history. Kotynski was honored as the coach of the year while freshman Cat Pruiett earned league rookie honors and junior Katie Haskins grabbed league pitcher of the year accolades.
In 2009, Kotynski led the Hornets to the school's second-ever USA South Tournament championship game and 30-win season. The team had nine all-conference selections and three selections to the All Tournament team.
In 2011, after finishing fifth in the regular season, Kotynski's Hornets rolled through the conference championships in Burlington to capture the program's first-ever conference championship. SU defeated the Nos. 1 (twice), 2, 5, 6 and 7 seeds in winning the double-elimination tourney.
The Hornets completed the 2011 campaign with two wins in four games at the Salisbury Regional, including an opening victory over nationally ranked Rowan (N.J.) University.
Kotynski and her spouse, Brit, are the parents of two sons, Kaleb Scott and Jakob Ryan.
*Until the 2013 season, Shenandoah University was member of the USA South Conference. In 2013, SU joined the ODAC.