GPS Alum Named Softball Coach of the Year by Chattanooga Times Free Press

Jackie McClain Freelend ’00 recognized in annual Best of Preps honors
Jackie McClain Freelend ’00, softball standout during her time as a student-athlete at GPS, was named Softball Coach of the Year by the Chattanooga Times Free Press Best of Preps Awards. After returning to GPS as an assistant under former coach Susan Crownover for the 2018-19 season, Freeland earned the head coaching position at Silverdale Baptist in 2019. 

Under Freelend’s helm, the Seahawks have garnered 93 wins, 35 of which came this season during an incredible run that culminated in a TSSAA Division II-A softball state championship—the second in the program’s history. 

In 2015, Freelend was inducted into the GPS Athletic Hall of Fame for her success on the diamond. As a Bruiser, Freelend was the pitcher her freshman year, and for the next three, she was shortstop, leading GPS to two state championships, with a batting average of .489. She had 230 hits and 194 RBI’s over her GPS career and earned a softball scholarship to the University of Alabama. Freelend was named to the Chattanooga Times Free Press All-Star Team and Tennessee Sports Writers Association All-State team every year she was a Bruiser. The TSWA named her Player of the Year for three consecutive years, and she received the same honor from the CTFP her senior year. In 2000, she was named the Tennessee Gatorade Softball Player of the Year. 

At Alabama, Freeland was named SEC Freshman of the Year, and for each of her four years with the Crimson Tide, she was NFCA All-American, Easton All-American, and named to the All-South Region and All-SEC teams. Her Alabama team was the SEC Tournament champion in 2003 and competed in the Women’s College World Series. Freelend was three-time Academic All-SEC and was an Academic All-American in 2004. 

Freeland will be honored during this year’s Best of Preps Awards Banquet on June 20 alongside GPS student athlete Kennedy Ball ’23, who will earn recognition as the top soccer player in the area.