Warriors Announce Ardeeser as Head Softball Coach
Central, SC – Southern Wesleyan is excited to announce Clay Ardeeser as the new Head Softball Coach for the Warriors.
"I am very excited to have Coach Ardeeser join the Warrior Family," said Director of Athletics Julia Reininga. "He embodies our mission here at SWU. He was a standout player and his love for athletics has translated into his coaching career. I am confident in his Godly leadership and I can't wait to see the team take the field under his direction."
Ardeeser will join the Warriors after spending three seasons coaching with the Belhaven Blazers Baseball program. In his first season as the Assistant Coach, Ardeeser primarily worked with the offense and infield coaching. In that role, he coached five all-conference selections and one all region selection. The team posted 28 team wins and finished the season as the third best team in the conference, the best finish and most wins in school history since the Blazers transitioned to Division III. Prior to being named the Assistant Coach at Belhaven, he served as a graduate assistant on the team. While serving in that role he worked with the Blazers' offense and in 2020, the Blazers were able to finish among the Division III leaders in a number of offensive categories.
Prior to coaching at Belhaven, Ardeeser served as the Hitting Coach and First Base Coach for North Springs High School in Sandy Springs, GA where the Spartans program would finish as region runner-ups. Ardeeser was the Head Baseball Coach and Softball Coach at Sprayberry High School in Marietta, GA from 2018-19 before becoming the Head Softball Coach at Heritage High School in Conyers, GA. He served as the Hitting Coach for Grayson High School from 2016-17 where he helped coach the Rams to a 7A Region 8 title and saw two players from that team drafted into Major League Baseball. He began his coaching career in 2015-16 as the hitting coach and first base coach for John Milledge Academy in Milledgeville, GA while assisting the Trojans to a Final Four appearance and Regional Runner-Up finish.
Before entering the coaching field, Ardeeser continued his playing career for the Garden City Wind in the Independent Professional Pecos League where he was named a Pecos League All-Star. Following his time with the wind Ardeeser played for the Utica Unicorns of the Independent United Shore Professional Baseball League.
Ardeeser competed at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, GA. During his time with the Bobcats, Ardeeser played first base and was a three-time All-Peach Belt Conference selection, three-time All-Southeast Region selection, and two-time All-Peach Belt Conference Tournament Selection. Ardeeser was named the 2014 Collegiate Player of the Year in Georgia and also named a 2014 Division II All-American. During his time at GCSU, the Bobcats reached the Division II Southeast Regional three times and were two time Peach Belt Conference Tournament champions. Ardeeser finished his career 7th all time in single season batting average with a .424 clip. He also finished 1st all-time in putouts with (1518), 3rd in doubles (59), 6th in walks (126), 7th in total bases (422), 8th in RBI's (196), 9th all-time in career hits (270) and 10th in home runs (29). Ardeeser graduated from Georgia College and State University with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science.
"First and foremost, I would like to thank God for pushing me in the direction to be a part of such a great university," commented Ardeeser. "I would like to thank Athletic Director Julia Reininga, Mike Gillespie, and the entire search committee for the utmost respect and professionalism throughout this process. I look forward to building a rich tradition here for the softball program that is unmatched in the southeast. We will do our best to embody the spirit of Christ, while training and competing at the highest level possible. I cannot wait to see what the future looks like for my family and I at Southern Wesleyan University! Go SWU!"
Ardeeser is set to join the Warriors Athletics staff in mid June.
Southern Wesleyan University is a Christ-centered, student-focused, faith-filled community that offers inventive learning experiences. The university endeavors to prepare its students to be dedicated scholars and servant-leaders who impact the world for Christ. For details about degree programs, go online to swu.edu.