January 12, 2022

The East Central Community College softball program is excited to announce Katelyn Gruich as a new assistant coach beginning in 2022.

"I would like to thank President Dr. Gregory, Athletic Director Paul Nixon, and Coach Leigh White for this great opportunity to represent East Central Community College. I look forward to working under Coach White's leadership and sharing my gift with these young ladies and being a leader they can depend on," said Gruich. "Ever since I have stepped foot on this campus, I have been welcomed and treated with professionalism. ECCC has treated me like family, and to me, this is a true blessing."

Gruich, a Biloxi native, is a seasoned softball player that prepped at St. Martin High School where she led the Yellow Jackets to five district championships and five south state appearances. Her efforts in her senior season landed her the Sun Herald Player of the Year honors. She also earned First Team All-District honors five times and graduated with school records in home runs, slugging percentage, and on-base percentage in 2016. Upon graduation, she continued her career at the University of South Alabama.

At South Alabama, Gruich was a freshman starter at first base and had an immediate impact as she helped the Jaguars to back-to-back winning seasons in 2017 and 2018. In the abbreviated COVID season in 2020, Gruich led the Jaguars in home runs and extra-base hits. She graduated in 2020 with a bachelor's degree in sports management and completed her master's degree in sports management, also from the University of South Alabama, in 2021.

Gruich has coached private lessons across the Gulf Coast for years and coached the Gulf Coast Intensity travel ball team in 2020 before joining the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College staff as an assistant in the spring of 2021. The Bulldogs finished the year 37-16 and made a trip to the National Junior College Athletic Association DII tournament under Gruich's leadership.

Gruich brings years of playing and coaching experience to the ECCC coaching staff and provides connections throughout the southern portion of Mississippi to help on the recruiting trail.