Vickee Kazee-Hollifield was inducted into the South Atlantic Conference hall of fame Thursday, June 5, 2014. (Photo: Carson-Newman University)
Vickee Kazee-Hollifield was inducted into the South Atlantic Conference hall of fame Thursday, June 5, 2014. (Photo: Carson-Newman University)

 

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Carson-Newman head softball coach Vickee Kazee-Hollifield was inducted into the South Atlantic Conference Hall of Fame in a ceremony at the Renaissance Hotel in Asheville, N.C. at the conference's annual meeting.

Kazee-Hollifield becomes the 12th Eagle inducted to the hall and the fourth associated with C-N softball.

She joins her former players Heather Randolph, Sammi Hatcher (Chafin) and Carol Zachary (Mitchell) in the SAC Hall of Fame.

"We are just delighted for Vickee to receive this honor," Carson-Newman director of athletics Allen Morgan said. "Not only has she been beyond exemplary on the field in her time here at Mossy Creek, but she has guided countless young women toward the light of Christ with her mission work on and off the field."

Kazee-Hollifield wrapped up her 29th season at Mossy Creek where she boasts a career win/loss record of 1025-346-1.  She ranks 20th on the all-time softball wins list and has the sixth most wins among DII softball coaches. She has more victories all-time than the rest of Carson-Newman's coaching staff combined.

She was hired as head softball coach when she was 23 by then athletic director Ken Sparks.

"She's very deserving," Sparks said. "She's not only put in the time, but had the success and done it in a way that honors the Lord. She was the one that convinced me that girls knew how to lay it on the line better than guys did. She's always been a great competitor and with her relationship with the Lord, I knew she would impact kids for eternity with that kind of effort and mindset."

The 10-time South Atlantic Conference Coach of the Year has guided the Lady Eagles to 11 NCAA tournament berths, including seven consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances from 2004-2011.  She's helped C-N to 13 regular SAC crowns and nine SAC tournament championships.

"It means so much," Kazee-Hollfield said. "I've had a good number of quality of student athletes who have come through Mossy Creek.  This means it's time to reflect on all their hard work and accomplishments that have put us in this position.  Those kids are the only reason that I'm standing here today.  I'm just honored to be called coach."

The 1983 C-N graduate has been involved in athletics at C-N for three decades. The successful association began as she starred for the Lady Eagle basketball team after leading the Tennessee prep ranks in scoring as a high school senior. Her name still appears in the C-N record book several times, and she was named to the Lady Eagle Basketball Team of the Century in 1995.

After finishing her playing career, Hollifield worked as a graduate assistant at C-N. During that time, she earned her Master's degree from the University of Tennessee. Recognizing that the C-N alum was someone who had a passion for C-N athletics, the administration hired Hollifield to head the volleyball program and to assist with women's basketball.

Hollifield, who now coaches only softball and is Senior Woman Administrator, relinquished her duties as volleyball coach after guiding C-N to a 59-21 record (.738) in three seasons and a District 24 title in 1985.

"It's a special evening for most of my family to be here," Kazee-Hollifield said. "I feel like half of this is for my husband too.  He's always supportive win, lose or draw.  He's always in my corner."

Hollifield is married to Matt Hollifield of Norcross, Ga. The couple resides in Jefferson City, Tenn.  She is already a member of Carson-Newman's athletic hall of fame.

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