Breaking: McCall Salmon named Central Michigan softball coach


Courtesy Photo | Davenport Athletics

McCall Salmon was named the new Central Michigan softball coach on Thursday, June 20. 

The Central Michigan softball team found its new leader. 

CMU Athletics announced in a press release June 20 that McCall Salmon will be the next head coach. The search began when the legendary Margo Jonker announced her retirement after 40 years of coaching the CMU softball team.

For six seasons, Salmon coached at Davenport (Grand Rapids) and compiled a 235-63 record (.788 winning percentage). She also led the Panthers through a successful transition from NAIA to NCAA Division II. 

“We are thrilled to have McCall as our new softball head coach,” CMU Athletic Director Michael Alford said. “We had tremendous interest in the position, and throughout the search, McCall’s strong leadership qualities stood out, especially through (Davenport's) recent transition."

Salmon began her coaching career as an assistant coach with Davenport from 2008-13, just as the program was getting started. The team won regular season championships in the Wolverine-Hoosier Conference (WHAC) in 2011 and 2012, and won conference tournament titles in 2011 and 2013. 

As the head coach, Salmon's Panthers won four consecutive WHAC regular season and tournament championships from 2014-17 and earned a berth in the 2017 NAIA World Series in 2017. She was been named WHAC Coach of the Year twice. 

Salmon also led Davenport to two winning seasons in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with a 35-21 record in its inaugural GLIAC campaign in 2018 and 32-21 last season. 

As a player, Salmon played first base/utility at Aquinas College (Grand Rapids) and helped the Saints win three straight WHAC titles from 2005-07. She earned all-conference honors three times and served as captain her final two seasons. She also received the Helen Louise Brogger Award, given to Aquinas' top graduating female athlete. 

Alford alluded to the fact Salmon, like other recent coaching hires at CMU, has enjoyed success at their previous stops on their way to Mount Pleasant. 

"Hiring head coaches that have won titles as student-athletes, as assistant coaches, and as head coaches has been a recipe of success for us, and McCall certainly fits that mold." Alford said. 

Salmon said in the press release that she is ready to embrace the tradition that Jonker built over her 40 years with the Chippewas. 

“I am so excited for this opportunity and can’t wait to be a part of the Chippewa family,” Salmon said. “It is such an honor to follow in the footsteps of Coach Jonker and continue to build on the great things she has done for this program. Very few teams have a tradition like we have here at CMU, and we are going to be a program that embraces that"

CMU Athletics will host a press conference at 2 p.m. on June 21 in the Kulhavi Events Center to introduce Salmon as the new head coach.