Nan Whitley has been the softball coach at Catawba College since 1983. During seven seasons of slow pitch softball (1983-89), her teams won 69 percent of their games (178-79). Whitley, with the assistance of her husband, Cecil, won five slow-pitch conference or district championships in the 1980s. In 1990, Catawba and the entire South Atlantic Conference moved to fast-pitch competition.
In fast-pitch competition, the Lady Indians have posted a 467-530-3, including a school-record 41 wins in 2007. In 2012, Catawba advanced to NCAA II regional play for the first time in school history. The Lady Indians had advanced to the SAC Tournament Championship game in 2011. Overall, Coach Whitley's record stands at 646-608-3.
Over the years, the Whitleys and their players have developed familylike relationships. The 1987 team stands out more than any other, due to its 39-7 record. The 39 victories were a then school mark for wins in a single season for any sport in the history of Catawba College athletics.
Whitley hails from Ephrata, PA, where she enjoyed an outstanding athletic career at Ephrata Area High School. She came to Catawba and played field hockey and softball. She graduated in 1974 with a bachelor's degree in health and physical education. Whitley served as the Catawba field hockey coach from 1982-2000, posting a 128-163-13 record and a Deep South Association championship in 1988.
Due to her outstanding accomplishments as a two-sport athlete and coach at Catawba, Whitley became the first woman inducted into the school's Sports Hall of Fame on April 3, 1993.
Nan and Cecil reside in Salisbury. They have a daughter Adrian, an assistant with the softball program, and a son, Alex.