Women’s history month means a lot to Eastern Kentucky University softball head coach Jane Worthington. She said that it has always meant something special to her growing up.
“I grew up in the area where we had to fight to play. I'd show up to my brother’s little league baseball games and hope they didn’t have enough players so that I could get out there,” Worthington said.
Worthington said that when she first came to EKU, Martha Mullins was someone who pushed her to do better. Mullins served 21 years at EKU and at the time was Senior Women's Administrator and Associate Athletic Director.
“I’ve had some women who have come before me and have done some many great things,” Worthington said. “She [Mullins] was not going to let me fail.”
She said that when she thinks about Women’s History Month, it reminds her of the women who have come before and the model they were to her. She wants to be a model for this generation that she is coaching and as she continues to coach young people.
“I want to make sure this generation of players doesn’t take anything for granted and that it can be taken away in the drop of a hat,” Worthington said. “Last year with COVID and stuff, maybe it made it a little more real for people.”
Worthington said she wants to show her players that they have to fight for what they want in life and to appreciate those who have come before them and paved the way.
“We have to fight for what we have and represent the school extremely well,” Worthington said. “Everything is not just handed to you.”
Worthington talks highly of the EKU administration and their respect for women’s equality.
“We have an administration that respects women and wants the women's side to succeed just as well as the men’s side,” Worthington said. “I couldn’t ask for a better administration in that department.”
Worthington earned her 800 career win early this season against Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville on March 6.
“It just felt like another game to be quite honest, 800 is not my goal,” Worthington said. “I don’t have a number of wins that I want to finish my career with.”
She has been with EKU since 1993 and is the only softball head coach in EKU history. In the time she has been with the Colonels, she has brought back two Ohio Valley Conference titles and has made two NCAA tournament appearances. Worthington has been named OVC coach of the year in 2002, 2004 and 2018.
“I just want to keep coaching and keep competing until I feel that I can’t do it anymore or I don’t have that passion,” Worthington said.
Worthington said she has a tradition with the team about preaching to her players about the privilege to be a part of the team.
“It’s a privilege to be on the team and not a right and make sure we are always putting 100 percent,” Worthington said. “I want to make sure that we are grateful.”
She said the team this year wanted to start the tradition of singing the fight song after their home wins.
“In regards to traditions, this year they have learned the fight song and they want to start singing that,” Worthington said. “Every year I think that each team adds a little bit more.”