Kelsie Monroe describes her conversations with her father, Ed, as dangerous when the subject turns to softball.
“Absolutely, it’s crazy,” Kelsie said. “We could be on the phone for two hours.”
Those father-daughter conversations may happen more frequently after both Monroes were recently hired as Division I college pitching coaches.
Kelsie, 24, is the new pitching coach at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix and Ed, 61, was named the pitching coach at Southern University in Baton Rouge, La.
Two people from the town of Los Banos and from the same household hired as Division I college pitching coaches weeks apart.
“When I heard about his job I was so excited for him,” said Kelsie, who graduated from Los Banos High in 2011. “It’s just amazing. We found this passion together when I was seventh grader and I told him I wanted to play softball.
“I feel our journey started together. He’s been with me the whole way through high school, travel ball, college. I got this job and then shortly after he gets his job. It’s so cool that we’re continuing this journey. This journey is supposed to end after college.”
Ed Monroe played fastpitch softball for 16 years, but walked away from the sport shortly after Kelsie was born. It wasn’t until she started playing at Los Banos High that Ed got into coaching.
Then Los Banos coach Charlie Pikas recruited Ed onto his coaching staff.
“When I made the move to Los Banos (from Tracy), we started a travel team for the incoming freshmen players to get them ready for high school,” Pikas said. “Ed was one of the dads who I talked into helping out. I convinced him to coach and we became great friends and had a lot of fun.”
Ed followed Pikas to Pacheco High when the school opened and spent the last 4 years as the pitching coach at Delta College in Stockton. This past season at Delta, Ed Monroe helped mentor Mustangs ace Peyton Rose, who finished with a 34-6 record and a 2.41 ERA.
Ed met Southern University softball coach John Garris through a summer camp that both attended. Eventually Garris asked Ed if he was interested in coaching at Southern University as the pitching coach.
“I’m super excited for the opportunity,” Ed Monroe said. “I didn’t think I would be doing this at this point in my life, but I’m excited to see what will come about.”
As excited as Ed is to begin his job, he’s proud to see this opportunity come along for his daughter.
“This is her parade,” he said. “I’m excited for my daughter. I’m a dad first. I’m excited to see what she can do. That’s what you hope is for the student to become the teacher.”
Kelsie spent the last 2 years as a graduate assistant at Azuza Pacific University after a standout career at Cal State Bakersfield. She was the Western Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year her senior season in 2015 when she finished with 16 wins and a 2.93 ERA.
The opportunity opened up at Grand Canyon University and it allowed her to stay around the game.
“I feel everything great that has happened to me is because of this game,” Kelsie said. “I’ve made lifelong friends through teammates. I’ve built amazing relationships with my coaches. I got my masters because of softball. Now I’m earning a paycheck because of softball. I know it’s a cliche, but when you find your passion, stick with it.”
This will be the first season GCU will be eligible to play in the Division I postseason. Monroe hopes to instill an aggressive approach from her pitchers.
“I want them to be known for being fearless,” she said. “I want to them to attack the game, attack the opponent.”
As for those father-daughter phone conversations, they both will have a lot in common as they navigate their way through their first season as Division I pitching coaches. They’ll be able to bounce ideas off each other.
“I’m always going to be right as far as that goes,” Ed Monroe said. “That’s our relationship. It’s fun to go back and forth with here. It’s fun watching her teach. I’m thrilled and honored for her. I don’t have enough words to say how I feel about her.”
So what happens when they are recruiting the same pitcher?
Well, then they might not be as chatty.
“I can’t give away all my secrets,” Kelsie said.