Yellow Jacket Athletics Names Head Coaches for Softball & Tennis

Yellow Jacket Athletics Names Head Coaches for Softball & Tennis

The Starkville Oktibbeha School District has named a new softball coach and new tennis coach to lead the Yellow Jackets. 

Softball Coach

Brittany Tillery returns home as head coach of Yellow Jacket fast pitch softball.

Tillery, a 2005 graduate of Starkville High School, holds a Bachelor    of Science in sports management from Delta State University, where she was named Delta State University Athlete of the Year, Division II All-American candidate, and All Gulf South Conference Peformer.

"Coach Tillery brings 12 years of hands-on coaching experience at the high school and collegiate level, along with a passion for excellence and a commitment to hard work that should be contagious for all of our Yellow Jacket community,” said Greg Owen, Director of Athletics. 

"I'm excited to return home to Starkville to lead Yellow Jacket softball," said Tillery."I'm committed to building a program of excellence for our softball players and community, and I can't wait to get to work."

Tillery has previously served as head softball coach at Germantown High School and assistant softball coach at Madison Central High School.

Most recently, she has coached at the collegiate level at Mississippi Valley State University. 

Tillery holds a Master of Science in sports management from Mississippi Valley State University. 

Tennis Coach

Vanessa Shaffer brings more than 20 years of tennis coaching experience to Yellow Jacket tennis.

A member of the Professional Tennis Registry since 2001 and certified personal trainer, Shaffer has coached college and youth league tennis. Since 2009, she has provided individual and group tennis instruction, coached U10 and U12 girls and boys United States Tennis Association (USTA) Junior Tennis Teams (JTT), conducted annual USTA summer tennis camp for youth, and planned and coordinated events for the Starkville Tennis Association. 

Shaffer's U12 USTA JTT won the state championship in 2017.

"It has always been my vision to grow the game of tennis in Starkville," said Shaffer. "I'm excited to be a part of the Jacket coaching team, and I look forwarding to devloping young players and their mental and phsyical game. My ultimate goal is for each student athlete to be their best on and off the court."

"The effort Coach Shaffer has already put forth in training the fundamentals of individual tennis players along with her passion for developing their mental game should pay great dividends for our tennis program,” said Owen. 

Shaffer holds a Bachelor of Arts in physical education from North Central College.