Kate Stake enters her third year with the Army program after being the first hire by head coach Michelle DePolo in 2009.
Rated as one of the bright young stars in the collegiate coaching ranks, Stake enjoyed a stellar first year on Army's staff and helped forge one of the finest seasons in school history. She played a key role assisting DePolo in directing the Black Knights to a school-record Division I mark for wins (33), along with winning the Patriot League regular-season title (third time overall and first since 1992) and serving as host of the tournament.
Stake was instrumental in Army posting a .291 batting average (ranked 58th nationally) behind 420 hits, as the Black Knights shattered the school mark in the latter, along with total bases (578), that were set in 2005. Four Army starters hit over .300 with another just missing that mark as Army's .291 team average ranks the second highest in school history at the Division I level.
The Black Knights set another school record with 578 total bases, while the team's 22 home runs were six shy of the Academy record set in 2004. Four members of the team were accorded all-conference honors, while two first-team citations were its highest since 2007.
Her second year on the staff saw Army shatter five school single-season individual batting marks en route to collecting 381 hits (over 100 going for extra bases) for 541 total bases posting a .268 batting average. Three players garnered all-conference honors (two first-team picks) with seven tabbed for accolades the past two years.
A former standout at Illinois State with three years of collegiate coaching experience, Stake came to West Point from Eastern Illinois where she spent her last two years as a full-time assistant on the coaching staff after serving as a graduate assistant her first season (2006-07) graduate assistant her first season (2006-07).
While earning her master's degree in athletic administration, Stake focused her attention working with the infielders and hitters throughout her tenure with the Panthers and continued in the same position at West Point along with recruiting. During her last two years at EIU, Stake helped develop second baseman Sarah Coppert and shortstop Megan Nelson into two of the top performers in program history. Coppert, an All-Ohio Valley Conference selection in 2008, went on to become just the third Panther in the OVC to record 20 RBI, 20 runs scored and 20 stolen bases in a season.
Nelson led the team that year in batting (.335) and is just the third player in program history to reach the 30-steal plateau. EIU led the conference that year in stolen bases with 85, the third highest total in school history to rank 16th among the nation's leaders.
Stake's first year with the Panthers in 2007 saw the team post a .970 fielding percentage on the homefront, turn 15 double plays along with breaking the school record for doubles (78).
During her collegiate career, the 2005 graduate of Illinois State starred on the diamond as well as in the classroom to earn a pair of All-America honors along with writing her name into the NCAA Division I record books before graduating cum laude with a bachelor's degree in English Education.
Named an Academic All-American by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association, Stake was also tabbed a second team Easton All-American and was named the Illinois State University Female Scholar Athlete of the Year along with being selected to the Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete Team. The native of Buffalo Grove, Ill., was a four-time all-conference selection, earning first team honors her junior and senior years, and was nominated for the MVC All-Centennial Team.
A four-year starting second baseman for the Redbirds under Hall of Fame coach Melinda Fischer, Stake ranked among the Redbirds' all-time leaders in games started, hits, home runs, RBI and total bases. She set a school standard when she smashed three home runs against Loyola University-Chicago in totaling 13 total bases for the third highest single-game total in NCAA Division I history. Stake also authored the school's longest hitting streak after collecting a hit in seven consecutive-at bats, along with listing fifth in career hits (179) and third in runs batted in (105).