ABILENE – Former Caddo Mills High School head softball coach Jenna Bane has been hired as the new head coach for the Abilene High program, effective Aug. 11, the first day teachers report for the 2021-22 school year.

Bane – a 2016 graduate of Texas A&M University – takes over the highly successful AHS program from Jim Reese, who retired at the conclusion of a four-year stint in charge of the Lady Eagle softball program. Abilene High reached the third round of the Class 6A playoffs in 2021, finishing 15-11. The Eagles won a pair of district titles under Reese making the success of the program a major attraction for Bane.

“It is my honor and privilege to be named the head softball coach at Abilene High School,” Bane said. “I am excited to bring my energy and passion to continue what has already been started with the program. When I watched Abilene High play its final playoff game last weekend (a 9-8 loss to Southlake Carroll), I saw so much heart! That is what I’m most excited about. I know I am coming into a program that has a lot of determination and desire to be great.”

Prior to being hired for the Abilene High job, Bane spent the previous the 2020 and 2021 seasons as the head coach at Class 4A Caddo Mills where she was a combined 28-12 and led the 2020 team to a No. 7 state ranking. She also served as the assistant volleyball coach and established a strength and conditioning program for the girls’ athletics program.

Before her two-year stint at Caddo Mills, Bane spent three years as the head coach at Navasota High School. Bane led the 2019 team to the first playoff berth in program history and in 2018 had the team ranked No. 7 in the state, the first state top-10 ranking in program history. It was her experience in leading two successful programs that drew the attention of incoming Abilene High principal Emme Siburt.

“Her experience leading two successful programs in the state as well as her energy and enthusiasm made her a great fit for our program,” Siburt said. “I’m excited about continuing the success of Abilene High softball under Coach Bane’s leadership.”

Bane played at Temple College and then signed with the University of Central Arkansas to continue her career but was forced to retire after multiple surgeries. She then transferred to Texas A& M where she graduated in August 2016 with a bachelor of science in kinesiology and exercise science. She served as a volunteer assistant coach at Temple College and has also been an instructor at Texas A&M summer camps.

“I thrive on developing a cohesive team and my expectation is always to win,” Bane said. “I love being around the players, and that’s one of the main reasons why I coach. We will continue to get better each and every day and build a culture that makes us not only a great softball team, but even better people.”