SOFTBALL: LU fires Bruder as coach

Published 6:09 pm Friday, May 11, 2018

In a simple three-sentence statement, Lamar announced Friday it has fired Holly Bruder as head softball coach.

“Lamar University head softball coach Holly Bruder will not return next season, announced LU Director of Athletics Marco Born Friday afternoon,” it read, with the headline that Bruder was “removed” as softball coach. “Bruder has served as the program’s head coach for the previous six seasons.

“A national search will begin immediately for Bruder’s replacement.”

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Lamar’s season ended May 5 with four straight losses and a 28-28 overall record (11-16 Southland).

The move, however, comes amid media reports that the father of a former catcher threatened legal action against the university. Tim Holmes told KFDM-TV that Bruder violated his daughter Paige’s civil rights during a road trip March 9 by having a member of the team’s staff force Paige Holmes to eat a sandwich with meat while the catcher, who is Catholic, had given up bread for Lent and could not eat meat on Fridays.

Lamar has not addressed the case publicly.

Bruder was placed on leave April 27 as Lamar announced it was investigating a violation of university policy. Assistant coach Demi Laney acted as head coach and led the Cardinals to a sweep of a doubleheader against Incarnate Word that day.

The Cards then lost a series finale to UIW and were swept by Nicholls State.

Bruder was named Lamar’s head coach for the 2013 season when the university announced its reinstatement of softball program, which had been dormant since 1987.

The Cards were 167-174 under Bruder, but the 2016 team finished second to McNeese State in the Southland Conference tournament, posting 35-22 record. The next season, Lamar went 34-31 and made it to the National Invitational Softball Championship final before losing to host Liberty (Virginia).

Bruder has a 427-374 overall record with stops at Morehead State (Kentucky) and Division III Denison University (Ohio).

— I.C. Murrell

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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