A three-time Academic All-Southland Conference performer, Grimes replaces another former softball standout, Cary Bruno, who departed in late May after two years on the academic staff.
Grimes will work with head academic coordinator and senior woman administrator Carrie Crowell to provide academic support services to the nearly 380 student-athletes at Northwestern State.
“Kelee has a hard act to follow in Cary Bruno, who worked tirelessly and did a wonderful job for our department,” said director of athletics Greg Burke. “At the same time, both Cary and Kelee are among our most honored student-athletes during my tenure so I am very confident that Kelee is up to the challenge.
“Academic support aside, Kelee has so many intangibles that will quickly position her to make an impact on our department. She has always carried herself with a sense of class and professionalism, is an excellent communicator, and has an innate passion for NSU that will exude itself on a daily basis to student-athletes, coaches, and staff,” said Burke.
Grimes was selected earlier this year as one of 26 recipients of a 2012 Ethnic Minority and Women’s Enhancement Scholarship awarded by the NCAA to be applied to her postgraduate studies in NSU’s Sport Administration master’s degree program.
Last month, Grimes was included for the third straight year on the Southland Conference Softball All-Academic Team, finishing with a 3.82 grade point average in business administration while competing in her senior season and serving as a student worker in the Johnnie Emmons Academic Study Center at NSU.
Third all-time in school history with 471 career strikeouts, she led the Lady Demons in that category in each of her last three seasons, averaging 1.4 per inning this spring. Grimes was a second-team All-Louisiana selection as a junior when she went 11-8 with a 1.40 earned run average that ranked 18th nationally.
“When I heard the news of Cary Bruno leaving, Kelee Grimes was the first person I thought of to fill her position. It was a no-brainer,” said Crowell. “Kelee has a passion for college athletics and had already shown interest in working in academics one day. In fact, Kelee had plans to become our graduate assistant, so she worked as a student worker this past spring to get her feet wet.
“Kelee is passionate about student-athletes, and passionate about NSU – you couldn’t find a better combo for the position.
Kelee started learning the ropes this spring, and is a fast learner. She will undoubtedly do great things for our academic center. Hiring Kelee was, in my opinion, a home run (pun intended)!” said Crowell.
Grimes owns two of the 16 no-hitters in school history, blanking Alcorn State as a junior and Alabama State in her senior season. In 2011, she won two Southland Conference Pitcher of the Week honors.
As a sophomore, she made the Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-District VI team and was Academic All-Southland Conference for the first time.
Grimes, whose appointment is on an interim basis for the time being, was vice president of the NSU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and Beta Gamma Sigma academic honor sorority, and was president of NSU’s Blue Key Honor Society while earning recognition in Who’s Who Among American Universities and Colleges.
A Pineville native, Grimes was the 2008 Gatorade Louisiana Softball Player of the Year as she led Pineville High to the Class 5A state finals.
She has been active in community outreach projects while a student-athlete in high school and college.