With 12 incoming freshmen set to join the GW softball team next season, it appears the Colonials have the firepower to improve on their 3-36 inaugural season. Now, suddenly, the only problem is they don’t have a coach.
After just one year in the dugout, head coach Leslie King Moore resigned last month to become head softball coach at the University of Pennsylvania. Moore said she enjoyed coaching at GW but has family in Pennsylvania and was offered a higher salary to work there.
“Professionally, (GW) was great,” she said. “But economically and personally, it was a struggle.”
Athletic Director Jack Kvancz could not be reached for comment. It is unclear whether Keri Kubala, who is still listed as the team’s assistant coach, will remain with the program.
Moore said her GW salary put her under financial duress, and that her request for a raise was denied by an athletic department strapped by University-wide budget cuts. She added that the Pennsylvania job will increase her salary by 37 percent.
“I asked for more money and they said it’s just not there,” Moore said. “I would have sure liked for them to have found it because I did not want to leave … I took the job at (the salary) they offered, so I guess I have to take some responsibility for not realizing the cost of living in Washington, D.C.”
The coach’s departure came just as several of her recruits were arriving at GW for Colonial Inauguration. Gabby Culp, an incoming freshman from Dallas, said the news came as a surprise to everyone.
“I guess I just felt shocked, because I came in with the impression that she would be there for a few years, and in a way betrayed,” Culp said. “It happened so suddenly, and now we’re going in blindly not knowing who our head coach is.”
Moore said she called all of her players before announcing her decision and received “a mix of reactions. Some cried, some were angry and some understood. Those were very difficult phone calls to make … they came here to play for me.”
While the Colonials will not play for Moore next season, the former coach said she is confident the team will improve under whomever they play.
“We’ve set some pretty good standards,” she said. “The infrastructure is all in place.”
Culp said she is still excited about coming to GW and expressed optimism that Moore’s exit could ultimately prove to be beneficial.
“Whatever led her (to leave) was distracting her,” she said. “So the new coach will come in as someone who is in a position to be more focused.”