First junior college coach in history to win 1,000 career games retires from Meramec

The Meramec Community College coaching staff will see one less face next season — a face that has changed junior college athletics history.

Meramec Community College softball coach Celeste Knierim recently announced her retirement.

Her retirement follows a historic season that saw her become the first junior college softball coach in history to win 1,000 career games, according to a college news release.

She steps down with a 1,041-544-2 record.

Knierim also coached the Magic to a berth in the NJCAA national championship game last month.

During her tenure, Meramec qualified for 16 national tournament appearances in 30 years.

She also won 24 conference titles and 15 Region XVI championships.

“It’s hard because of the players,” Knierim said of her retirement.

“This was a very special team, so it’s nice to end it with this group. I’m going to miss the freshmen a lot. That’s the hard part.”

Knierim coached Meramec Community College softball for all 30 years of the program.

She also has coached women’s field hockey, volleyball, and women’s basketball in her early years at Meramec.

She is considered a pioneer in women’s collegiate sports, the release stated.

A search will begin immediately for her successor.