By Matthew Soderberg | Editor-in-Chief
Baylor softball is making preparations to honor the late assistant coach Mark Lumley who died of cancer in December. Given that Lumley’s presence was felt profoundly on the diamond as well as off it, the decision was easy for head coach Glenn Moore and the squad.
“We’re going to miss him dearly, but we are going to recognize him, dedicating our season to him, wearing a ribbon on our helmet,” Moore said. “Another cool factor is Oklahoma State reached out to us and they want to wear his patch on their helmets as well.
“This supersedes softball and sports. It’s about real life people. We’re going to acknowledge him on our fence this year as well. Looking forward to doing that, but it will be difficult at times. We’ve certainly been blessed by his presence here over the years.”
Moore coached alongside Lumley, affectionately called “Lum” by members of the team, for 22 years, two at LSU and 20 more with the Lady Bears. During his time at Baylor, the squad made 13 NCAA postseasons and four Women’s College World Series trips.
“Lum will always be a part of my life and a part of this program’s, especially as long as we’re here,” Moore said. “It’s daily that I run across something at practice or around the office, I want to step in his office or send him a text or joke with him about something. It’s daily and that’s going to stay with us. I hope it always does. He was a great part of this program.”
Lumley had already beaten cancer three times when doctors found it again in his vertebrae last March. Still, after retiring from coaching in September, he continued on the staff as assistant director of operations.
“He was out here at times when he shouldn’t have been here, when he should have been taking care of himself,” Moore said to Baylor Bear Insider Jerry Hill. “That’s who he is. He has always put others ahead of himself. I admire him for how he’s been driven by doing that.”
From other assistant coaches to players, Moore left an imprint on everyone across the program. Gia Rodoni, ace pitcher and redshirt senior, said she couldn’t have had a better assistant coach to lean on.
“Coach Lum was by far the best man I’ve ever known,” Rodoni said. “He’s widely loved and respected and he’s for sure going to be missed greatly here at Baylor Softball and just in life in general.”
Lumley is survived by his wife, Stacey, and stepsons, Trey, Mason and D.J. He’ll also be fondly remembered by a loving Baylor family.
“He’s just been by my side for so long now,” Moore told Hill. “I have to say, he’s the best man I’ve ever met in my life. I’ve never seen someone so unselfish and giving and loyal. He just has a heart for people and, in particular, for the players we coach.”