Jexx Varner, a 2007 graduate of Robert Morris with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in organizational leadership in 2009, is in his first season of his second stint on the Colonials softball staff.
“We’re very excited to have Jexx return to Robert Morris University,” said Coleman. “He has done a fantastic job everywhere he has been and with his Division I experience, our student-athletes will benefit greatly.”
Varner’s softball coaching career began in Moon Township, when he served as an assistant coach with the Colonials during the 2008 and 2009 seasons. In 2008, the Colonials posted a 30-20 mark, the program's first 30-win season since 1997, while landing seven players on the All-Northeast Conference squad. The two teams on which he coached went a combined 27-9 in NEC play with two regular-season second-place finishes and two NEC Tournament berths.
“I’m really excited to return to Robert Morris,” said Varner. “It’s not often you get the chance to go home professionally or personally and I’m fortunate enough to do both. I’m really looking forward to getting to know the girls on the team and working with Craig once again. It’s a surreal feeling right now and my family and I are excited to return to RMU.”
Most recently, Varner was the head softball coach at Lafayette College for the past four seasons. His tenure with the Leopards was highlighted by strong defensive play and academic excellence. His 2017 squad set a program record for fielding percentage (.970) while shortstop Brooke Wensel’s selection as the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year. His teams also owned the second-best (.967 in 2016) and fourth-best (.955 in 2015) single-season fielding percentage performances in Leapord’s history. In the classroom, the softball team won the Lafayette Department of Athletic Academic Excellence Award in the spring of 2016 and 2017 and the fall of 2016 while having six players named to the Academic All-Patriot League Team.
The 2016 season saw Lafayette manage its best winning percentage since 2001. That season’s squad had top 10 marks in 18 different statistical categories including hits, runs, home runs and runs batted in.
Prior to his time at Lafayette, Varner was an assistant coach at Kent State for three seasons. He helped guide Kent State to a 27-21-1 mark in 2013 and the Mid-American Conference (MAC) East Division title. He worked closely with the outfielders and catchers while also mentoring all of the team's hitters. Varner assisted in all aspects of the Golden Flashes' program, handling team travel and compliance, while aiding in practice planning, game scheduling and gameday strategies.
After leaving RMU, Varner was an assistant coach at Ashland University, a Division II institution in Ashland, Ohio. Varner helped the Eagles to a 36-13 record and a 2010 NCAA Division II Super Regional appearance. The team set 16 school records and placed seven players on the all-conference team.
Varner was married to his wife Amy in 2014.
Christine Campbell joined the Robert Morris University staff in July of 2017 and will oversee the Colonials pitching staff.
“I'm extremely excited to join the RMU coaching staff this fall,” said Campbell. “I'm eager to share my pitching knowledge and experience, but I'm most looking forward to meeting the players and working with the coaching staff to help them reach their goal of a Northeast Conference championship. I'll be giving my full heart to the team as a part of the RMU coaching staff and am very excited to become a member of the Colonial family.”
A 2017 graduate of Lehigh University with a degree in business, Campbell had an impressive four-year career with the Mountain Hawks culminating in a Patriot League Championship and NCAA Tournament appearance in 2017. A key cog in that championship run, Campbell was named the Patriot League Pitcher of the Year and a National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-Region Third Team selection. Campbell was a three-time All-Patriot League pick, earning a spot on the first team as a sophomore in 2015.
Campbell collected 69 victories in her career, second most in Lehigh history, against just 24 losses. Her 117 appearances and six career saves stand third. She threw 616.0 innings, striking out 380 batters to just 181 walks and posted a 2.17 career earned run average.
As a senior, Campbell posted a 22-6 record and a 2.21 earned run average in 35 appearances. Her win total and games pitched were fourth in team history. She was named the Patriot League Tournament MVP, throwing 14 innings and allowing just two earned runs on the final day of the championship event. Campbell led the team in wins, ERA, innings pitched and strikeouts while topping the conference in victories.
Campbell spent the summer playing for the Irish National Softball Team in the European National Softball Championship in Italy. Her grandfather was born in Ireland, giving her dual citizenship. Campbell pitched 48.2 of the team’s 57.0 innings, posting a 3-3 record with a 2.88 earned run average. She threw complete game shutouts against Lithuania and Crotia, helping Ireland to a 15th place finish, up nine spots from the team’s previous appearance in the championship.
Volunteer Addistant Coach
head softball coach announced the addition of as a volunteer assistant coach in March 2015. Beckemeyer aides with multiple facets of the program, but she works prominently with Colonial catchers.
Beckemeyer helped Robert Morris to the league’s outright regular-season title in her first season in 2015 after the Colonials finished in eighth place in the league the year prior. The Colonials finished with a 13-3 mark in league contests after starting conference play 11-0, the best such start in school history. RMU’s progression in 2015 stands as the best single-season turnaround for a conference champion in NEC history. As a result of this performance, Beckemeyer was named as part of the Northeast Conference Coaching Staff of the Year. Beckemeyer helped six Colonials claim All-NEC honors and five Colonial position players earn all-league accolades in 2015, both marks which tied school records.
Beckemeyer made her mark on the softball scene in southern California as both a player and a coach. The two years in which she served as head coach at California Lutheran are arguably the most successful in program history.
Upon taking the reins of her alma mater just two years after she graduated, Beckemeyer led the Regals to a then school record 34 wins and guided the squad to NAIA Nationals for the first time in program history, where the team competed at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City. As a result of her efforts, she was named NAIA District 3 Coach of the Year. She followed that up the next year by helping the Regals to a 35-18 record and a second straight appearance in NAIA Nationals. In her second season, she helped one of her players (Dee Andra Pilkington) to First Team All-America honors, one of only two Regals to claim this honor throughout the program’s history. To this day, Cal Lutheran’s two highest single-season win totals came in the two years Beckemeyer was at the helm. She was also the only coach to take a team to NAIA Nationals in the 12 years in which Cal Lutheran participated in that organization.
As a player, Beckemeyer helped transition Cal Lutheran from a fledging young program into a perennial contender. During her four years, the Regals posted a 21-win improvement, culminating in a 30-10 campaign in her senior season. She earned First Team All-District 3 honors at catcher in each of her four years and also served as a team captain in the latter half of her career. She led the team in hitting in both 1984 (.396) and 1985 (.406) and completed her sophomore season without striking out once. While she led the team in hitting, what she did on the defensive side was perhaps more impressive. She threw out 20-of-24 potential basestealers in 1984 and 22-of-25 in 1985.
Before enrolling at Cal Lutheran, Beckemeyer was a member of the California Raiders on the travel ball scene, a team that won the 1982 national championship.
Beckemeyer serves as the Vice President for Enrollment Management at Robert Morris, a position she has held since 2012.
A native of Newbury Park, California, Beckemeyer earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Cal Lutheran in 1986. She proceeded to earn a Master of Business Administration degree in marketing from Cal Lutheran in 1993.
Beckemeyer resides in the Pittsburgh, Pa. suburb of O’Hara Township with her husband Wayne. The couple has one son, Blake.
Director of Softball Operations
Rich Holsinger enters his fourth season as a member of the Robert Morris University softball staff. He is in his first year as the Director of Operations after serving as a volunteer assistant for the past three years.
Holsinger helped Robert Morris to the league’s outright regular-season title in 2015. The Colonials finished with a 13-3 mark in league contests after starting conference play 11-0, the best such start in school history. RMU’s progression in 2015 stands as the best single-season turnaround for a conference champion in NEC history. As a result of this performance, Holsinger was named as part of the Northeast Conference Coaching Staff of the Year. Holsinger helped six Colonials claim All-NEC honors and five Colonial position players earn all-league accolades in 2015, both marks which tied school records.
Holsinger helped RMU post its best non-conference winning percentage in 20 years during the 2014 season. Two Colonials were named All-NEC First Team while a third claimed a major postseason award from the league.
In his first season on staff, Holsinger helped the Colonials to their third-consecutive Northeast Conference regular-season title by virtue of their 16-4 record within league play. RMU won at least 30 games for the second straight year, including a doubleheader sweep of local rival Pitt. Three Colonials won a major postseason award from the NEC in 2013 while a fourth was selected All-NEC First Team.
Holsinger previously served as a coach in the Pittsburgh travel ball scene for numerous years where he was involved in the Pittsburgh Patriots organization.