Holly Carnes recently finished her 18th year as Nebraska-Kearney head softball coach.
She has 348 career wins, including 265 in conference (Rocky Mt. Athletic Conf. and Mid-America Athletic Assoc.) regular season play. The Kearney native and former Loper first baseman was named head coach prior to the 2001 season.
During her tenure, 41 different players have earned All-RMAC or All-MIAA honors, five have been named All-Region, and the Lopers qualified for the RMAC Tournament 10 times.
Off the field, UNK has had 68 academic all-conference qualifiers since 2001 with four being named CoSIDA Academic All-District. In 2004, Ashley Speak became UNK's fifth CoSIDA Academic All-American.
In her second year at the helm, catcher Sarah Raymond was named the 2002 RMAC Freshman of the Year.
The following season, Carnes led the Lopers to their eighth RMAC regular season championship thanks to a 30-15 (26-8) record. Subsequently, she was named the RMAC Coach of the Year.
Individually, junior Katie Anderson earned All-Region honors and was the RMAC Pitcher of the Year.
In 2006, UNK fielded one of it’s best hitting teams. On the way to a third place finish, the Lopers hit a school-record 76 home runs, shattering the previous record by 23.
Second baseman Amanda Hitt also set new school record for extra base hits (35) and total bases (137).26269
The 2007 team once again finished third while also going 13-4 at home. Amanda Bell was named RMAC P.O.Y. with her battery mate, Molly Langerak, tabbed all-region.
From 2008-11, Carnes saw UNK reach the RMAC Tournament three times. Third baseman Cassie Keck was a big part of these clubs, finishing her career in the UNK top 10 in most offensive categories.
As a senior in 2011, she set new Loper marks for homers (17), slugging percentage (.909) and batting average (.448) while being named first-team All-RMAC for a third straight time.
More recently, the Lopers had four All-MIAA players in 2015 with junior outfielder Rebecca Wyatt named second-team after stealing 41 bases.
In 2016, first baseman Kate Ruwe became just the fifth UNK player to earn All-American honors at the D2 level. She finished her career at .396 with 47 HR's and 155 RBI's. A four-year starter, she twice went through an entire spring without making an error.
Before 2001, Carnes spent time as a UNK assistant coach as well as being the co-head coach at Holdrege High School.
A 1999 UNK graduate, Carnes played for some of the most successful teams in school history. A four-year starter at first base, she was a part of three Elite Eight teams, including the 1999 squad that finished as national runner up. They'll be inducted into the RMAC Hall of Fame in the summer of 2017.
Named All-RMAC three times, she still holds the school record for career putouts in the field (1,164).
Canes lives in Kearney with her husband Mark, and their children, Tristin James (T.J.), Londyn, Keegan and Kaden.