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SIUE Softball Bolsters Staff

Assistant Coach Kendall Duffy (left) and Director of Operations Taylor Held (right)
Assistant Coach Kendall Duffy (left) and Director of Operations Taylor Held (right)

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE softball Head Coach Sandy Montgomery announced two additions to her staff. Kendall Duffy has been named an assistant coach. Taylor Held takes over as the director of operations.

"Kendall was a one of the top student-athletes at Bradley and received several awards for her leadership," said Montgomery. "When you are looking for a young coach, you are looking for someone who is eager, mature, wants to learn and is a hard worker plus has softball knowledge. She certainly has all of that, and we're excited to have her."

Duffy came to SIUE after spending the 2017 season as the assistant varsity softball coach at Benet Academy in Lisle, Illinois.

During the past year, she has balanced a number of responsibilities, including working as the promotions assistant for ESPN1000 promotional events in the Chicagoland area. She assisted the marketing director with daily departmental tasks, including inventory, event memos and contacting prize winners.

She served as a catching and all-skills trainer for the Chicago Bulls/Sox Training Academy, providing one-on-one lessons in all areas of the game, especially defense and catching.

Duffy will work under Montgomery and Associate Head Coach Jessica Jones assisting with all facets of the recruiting process. That includes identifying athletically and academically talented student-athletes who support the University's mission and philosophy.

Behind the scenes, Duffy's responsibilities include organizing and implementing SIUE softball's community service projects as well as social media and outreach. She will assist the program with camps and clinics, manage the officials process, and coordinate the team's equipment and apparel.

A 2016 magna cum laude graduate of Bradley University with a bachelor's degree in sports communication, Duffy was a four-year starter for the Braves' softball program. An NSCA All-American as a strength and conditioning athlete of the year, she also was a finalist for the Orsborn Award, which is the highest student-athlete honor at Bradley. She earned the Carl Grose Service Award and was named a Country Financial Scholar-Athlete of the Week honoree during the 2016 season.

She earned the 4D Award (Desire, Dedication, Determination, Discipline) for three consecutive seasons at Bradley. The Braves third baseman was a member of the Missouri Valley Conference All-Defensive team in 2016 and a second team All-MVC performer in 2014. She also was named an All-American Scholar Athlete from 2013-2015 by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.

Duffy earned the MVC Commissioner's Academic Excellence Award in 2014 and 2015. She also served as a representative on Bradley's Gender Equity Committee.

In the classroom, Duffy was named the Outstanding Student in Sport Communication in 2016 in the Slane College of Communications and Fine Arts at Bradley.

Held, who played collegiate volleyball for the Cougars, joined the SIUE softball staff in April 2017 as the Director of Operations.

"Taylor has done well for herself as a student-athlete and has a knack for the administrative side of the program," said Montgomery. "She is responsible for a lot of things that make our program tick, and her maturity and ability to be organized will help this program."

Her duties for the softball program include organizing and reserving all team and recruiting travel as well as managing fundraising aspects of the program. Held is tasked with coordinating all softball program budget variables, including reimbursements, expense tracking as well as revenues and expense from SIUE softball camps and clinics.

Held will oversee the program database for SIUE softball alumni and donors and also will serve as the liaison for marketing and promotions of SIUE softball events.

A 2017 graduate of SIUE, she earned a bachelor's degree in exercise science. A team captain for SIUE volleyball during the 2016 season, she helped the Cougars to a runner-up finish at the Ohio Valley Conference Championships and a first-ever top 100 finish in the RPI for SIUE volleyball.

Held served in the leadership development program for SIUE Athletics and attended leadership mentoring workshops. She worked as a camp counselor for Cougar volleyball from 2013 to 2017 as well as numerous community service and volunteer projects.

She appeared on the SIUE Dean's List seven times and earned a spot on the OVC Commissioner's Honor Roll four times.