Rowlett not retained after six-year run --
Brad Rowlett's six-year tenure as softball coach at Mt. Juliet High has come to a close.
Principal Mel Brown issued a statement Thursday morning announcing the hiring of Haley Knepp as the new head coach of the Lady Bears.
Hired in the late spring of 2011 Rowlett came from Lebanon High after a 12-year run with the Lady Blue Devils, taking over for longtime MJHS coach Casey Pedigo.
His record at Mt. Juliet was 136-87 -- a winning percentage of .834. Rowlett's best season at Mt. Juliet was his first. The 2012 squad finished 33-15-1 and reached the Class AAA state tournament.
The 2017 version of the Lady Bears won 12 out of 13 games toward the end of the season, before losing in the Region 5-AAA finals to Henry County and in the Class AAA Sectional to Brentwood.
Along the way Mt Juliet (25-16) came out of the losers bracket to defeat Portland twice for the District 9-AAA tournament championship.
Counting his tenure at Lebanon, Rowlett piled up a record of 359-276 (.565).
Knepp, a native of Kossuth High School (MS), is a graduate of Blue Mountain University where as a senior outfielder she helped led her team to a record of 40-20 and a berth in the NCAA Division II South Regionals.
She played at Northeast Mississippi Community College and the University of North Alabama before landing at Blue Mountain.
Expected to teach in Mt. Juliet's math department, Knepp previously worked as an assistant coach at Booneville High (MS).
"I'm so excited to start this new journey as the head softball coach at Mt. Juliet," Knepp said.
"Being a former collegiate softball player and assistant coach, I've had the opportunity to play and work for some very successful programs.
"I look forward to growing and developing this team, not only into successful softball players, but young women as well.
"I truly believe the answer to having a successful team is built on aligned goals, determination, and teamwork. We will strive each day to get better."
Tryouts for the 2018 team will be held Wednesday, June 21 and Thursday, June 22 between the hours of 4-6 p.m. at the Mt. Juliet High School softball field.
Participants must have a current physical.