Collins names Cates as softball coaching

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Kidwell retiring in 2 weeks

By Josh Cook

Collins has gained a new softball coach, but it is losing an athletic director.

Suzanne Cates has been hired to replace Jim Axline as the Titans softball coach. That according to Collins AD Gary Kidwell, who also said that he will retire from his post later this month.

Cates, a graduate of Butler High School, was Kentucky’s Miss Softball in 2000. She later was a 4-year all-conference pitcher at Georgetown College. After graduating she got into coaching and assisted at Eastern High School in 2005 and at Henry County from 2006-09. She then took some time off to have daughters Kenleigh (4) and Khloe (3) before joining the Collins coaching staff in 2010.

She was an assistant to Axline on the inaugural Titans team that finished as the 8th Region runners-up. She spent last season helping out at Henry County.

“It’s one of those things that’s come full-circle for me, having played in high school and college and moving up the [coaching] ranks,” said Cates, whose husband (Ken) is an assistant boys’ basketball coach and assistant athletic director at Shelby County. “It’s important to me that Mr. Kidwell and [Collins principal] Mr. [John] Leeper both believed in me to do it.”

Meanwhile Kidwell, who has worn many hats during his time in the Shelby County school system, said his last day of work will be Oct. 26.

“As it worked out, that is [the] best time,” he said. “I enjoy what I do, but am looking forward to the change.”