Forrester, who graduated from E&H in 2004, coached the Sullivan East High School softball team the past four years.
“Tommy’s experience as a successful local high school coach, a former E&H student-athlete, an alumnus and his love for the college were strong factors in the decision to hire him,” Sims said in a release from the college. “He is passionate about coaching softball, is passionate about building a strong program here at E&H and is committed to being part of this community for a long time.”
After inheriting a struggling program in the fall of 2009, Forrester led the Lady Patriots to three 20-win seasons and a pair of third-place finishes in the Three Rivers Conference tournament. He also spearheaded a major fundraising and construction project during 2011 and 2012 that helped improve East’s softball facilities.
“I would like to thank Myra Sims and the search committee for giving me the opportunity to return to Emory & Henry and coach softball,” Forrester said. “When I visited campus, I felt at home with the coaching staff, administration and players. I am inheriting a great group of young ladies, and I am confident that together we will build an elite softball program at E&H.”
Forrester has also been an assistant coach for several high school sports during his career, including baseball and basketball at both Sullivan East and Pendleton High School in South Carolina. He has been a graduate assistant at Clemson and Northeast State Technical Community College.
A four-year letter-winner in the infield for the Wasps’ baseball team, Forrester was named team MVP his senior season. He was also a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District III first-team selection.
Forrester graduated magna cum laude from E&H with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. While teaching at Clemson, he completed coursework toward a master’s in mathematical sciences.
Forrester currently resides in his native Bluff City.
“He has an outstanding network of contacts in the high school and travel coaching ranks in both Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia and we felt that those ties to the institution and in the region will prove to be extremely valuable over time,” Sims added. “He is widely known for his work ethic and being someone who attacks challenges and overcomes them. I am confident that he will be able to continue to build our program.”