Doane College ’99
Ed Kieff, who enters his sixth season with the Tiger softball program in 2016-17, is the winningest softball coach in school history. He is now 82-130 in five seasons with the team after a record-breaking 2016 campaign.
The 2016 season saw an influx of bright young talent to add to veteran leadership. Kieff guided the team to a DWU-best 33 wins, with the Tigers breaking numerous team and individual records along the way. After starting the season 2-8, DWU swept two from Southwest Minnesota State University, an NCAA Division II program to kick off an 11-game winning streak. The Tigers finished their annual trip to Arizona with an 11-3 record before returning home to start GPAC play.
DWU was picked to finish second to last in the conference, but the team showed it was a contender throughout the season. The Tigers ended the conference schedule15-7 and in third place, the highest finish in program history.
In all, the 2016 Tigers set eight new team records including wins (33), hits (485), runs scored (273), doubles (101), home runs (37), slugging percentage (.468), batting average (.319) and fielding percentage. Senior catcher Hailey Unger closed her time at DWU as the most decorated player in program history with several career records. Unger set new DWU standards for carrer hits (172), doubles (37), home runs (18), RBIs (102) and runs scored (102). After moving to the leadoff spot in 2016, Unger tied the single season DWU mark for walks with 21.
The standout 2016 freshman class was led by shortstop Savannah Ahumada, who rewrote the DWU single-season record books, breaking several marks by the midway point of the campaign. Ahumada heads into her sophomore year holding the DWU season records for hits (73), doubles (21), home runs (11), RBIs (51) and runs scored (46).
Unger and Ahumada were both named to the All-GPAC First Team, the fourth such honor for Unger in her career. The Second Team included freshman pitcher Sierra Haage and senior outfielder Katy Lazenby, while sophomore Paige Kinley and senior Vanessa Mendez were named honorable mentions. For the first time in program history, the DWU softball team earned a CoSIDA Academic All-American, with Unger being named to the First Team and Lazenby the Second Team. Both athletes also received NAIA Scholar Athlete recognition.
Kieff has coached 21 All-GPAC performers and eight Daktronics/NAIA Scholar Athletes in his four seasons with the team.
Kieff comes to Dakota Wesleyan with 20 years of softball coaching experience under his belt. Most recently, he was the head of the Sioux Falls Diamonds Fastpitch Softball Club, which he helped start. The program started as one team, and has grown to more than a dozen teams spanning in ages from 9-and-under to 18-and-under.
Kieff also has ties to Mitchell as his wife, Mary, is a Mitchell native and his mother-in-law, Marjorie, graduated from the DWU nursing program, lives in Mitchell and is an avid Tiger fan.
Kieff currently lives in Sioux Falls with his wife, Mary, and they have two grown children and two grandchildren.