Palm Beach Atlantic has named Jessica Cooley as head softball coach. Cooley joins the University after 10 years with the Mississippi State University softball program.
“We met with several impressive candidates during this interview process, but Jessica set herself apart with her energy, passion and preparation,” said PBA Director of Athletics Courtney Lovely. “We are very excited to have hired a coach with her background and expertise as an SEC softball student-athlete and program administrator. Jessica is a great fit for the University and she will have an immediate impact on PBA and the young women she will serve in this new capacity.”
A native of Birmingham, Ala., Cooley joined the Bulldogs staff in 2013 after a standout, four-year career on the diamond. She was heavily involved in all aspects of the Mississippi State softball program, for which she helped prepare schedules and recruiting visits, managed the operating budget and helped instruct during practices and games.
“I am beyond excited to be a part of the Sailfish family,” said Cooley. “I want to thank President William M. B. Fleming, Jr., Courtney Lovely, and Michael Brown for their faith-filled leadership throughout this process. Their passion for this school and the athletic department has been evident from the moment I stepped on campus and I feel extremely blessed to be a part of the Palm Beach Atlantic family.”
Cooley left Starkville as one of the best power hitters in school history. She is still the only player in SEC history with four multi-home run games in a single season. Her 27 career home runs rank sixth in school history.
Her best year came in her junior season, when she hit .310 with 15 homers while driving in 41. Cooley was named a College Sports Madness Third-Team All-American and was an Academic All-SEC selection during her time with the Bulldogs. She was named to the SEC Community Service Team in 2013.
Cooley graduated from Mississippi State with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and with a master’s degree in sport administration.
Photo: The University named Jessica Cooley , pictured, as head softball coach.