The Cottey College Athletic Department is pleased to announce several changes over the summer with the addition of two new coaches and the expansion of duties to include a Sports Information Director. Leah Killen has been hired as the inaugural tennis coach for the Comets; Anthony Skiles has been hired as the new cross country and track coach; and head softball coach Mark Skapin has accepted the additional responsibilities of sports information director (SID) for the entire Comets athletic program.
“I am so honored to be joining the Cottey community as the first tennis coach,” said Killen. “I look forward to the challenge of creating and developing a strong tennis program.”
Cottey will begin competition in tennis in 2018-19, allowing Killen time to recruit and begin organizing the program during the 2017-2018 school year.
Killen has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Texas A&M University where she was a member of the Aggie tennis program. Killen has a vast array of knowledge and experience in the tennis world from being ranked as a top 25 player in junior tennis to competing at the NCAA level as well as coaching at NCAA Southeast Missouri State University.
“The addition of a tennis program has been a long time coming,” said athletic director Stephanie Beason. “Leah will be a great addition to our athletic department and I have no doubt that she will get the tennis program started on a positive note.”
Along with her head coaching duties, Killen has also accepted the position of part-time P.E.O. residence hall director on Cottey’s campus. P.E.O. Hall houses up to 100 Cottey students and is one of three residence halls on campus.
Skiles will be replacing Cottey’s inaugural cross country coach, Austin Bunn, who had athletes qualify for every cross country, indoor and outdoor national meet since the program began in 2014.
“Tony is a very energetic and passionate person,” said Beason. “We got to know Tony’s recruiting style throughout the course of the interview process and have no doubt that he will be able to continue the program’s success.”
“I am very honored to join this up and coming athletic department,” said Skiles. “I would like to thank President Weitzel, Dr. Phillips and Ms. Beason for allowing me this opportunity to come to Cottey College to help grow the already successful young program. My family and I are very excited to be moving to Nevada, Missouri, where it already feels just like home. I look forward to the hard work and seeing these ladies be successful.”
Skapin accepted the position of SID in addition to his duties as head softball coach where in his first season at Cottey the team won the Region 16 softball DII tournament.
“With the growth within the athletic department and the direction we are heading, it’s a great benefit for us to add a SID position for our programs,” said Beason. “This will allow for some consistency and uniformity of our social media, press releases and website material being used to promote Cottey College athletics.”
Skapin will be charged with athletic coverage and updates for the athletic web pages and social media.
Cottey College is an independent women’s college located in Nevada, Missouri, approximately 90 miles south of Kansas City. Its residential student capacity of 350 typically represents 40 states and 20 countries. Cottey is owned and supported by the P.E.O. Sisterhood, an international women’s organization, making Cottey the only nonsectarian college in the United States owned by women for women.