Sophomore led the team with a .324 batting average as a rookie in 2016
Ebner, Grover, Rarick join program in Class of 2021
Five players honored at close of the 2016 season
Leopards close out home slate with Colgate series
Series finale set for Sunday at noon
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Jexx Varner begins his fourth season as the Lafayette softball head coach. The program looks to have turned the corner following the 2016 season, a campaign that saw Lafayette manage its best winning percentage since 2001 and had 18 statistical performances in the Top-11 all-time.
Academically, Lafayette softball has been a standout program, earning the Department of Athletics Academic Excellence Award with a 3.53 GPA while finishing 10th in the nation among all Division I programs.
Prior to coming to College Hill, 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 East Division title. He worked closely with the outfielders and catchers while also mentoring all of the team's hitters.
He assisted in all aspects of the Golden Flashes' program, handling team travel and compliance, while aiding in practice planning, game scheduling and gameday strategies on the staff of head coach Karen Linder who just completed her 16th season at the school.
Prior to his time at Kent State, 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 under head coach Sheilah Gulas. The team set 16 school records and placed seven players on the all-conference team.
Varner served as an assistant coach for two seasons at his alma mater, Robert Morris University, in Moon Township, Pa. 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.
At Robert Morris as an undergrad, Varner served as the head coach and president of the baseball club from 2005 to 2007. He graduated in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in Business Administration-Sports Management and earned his master's degree in 2009 in Organizational Studies-Leadership.
Varner also coached baseball at the high school level in Fort Collins, Colo. and held numerous administrative duties with Triple Crown Sports for nearly a decade.
Varner was married to his wife Amy in 2014.