Championship Softball Camps
Tennessee Tech Coaching Staff
Bonnie Bynum Graham
If you look at the Tennessee Tech and the Ohio Valley Conference softball record books, Bonnie Bynum Graham’s name is still one of the most visible names.
In the OVC, even 10 years after the completion of her career, Graham still owns the single-season records in appearances (58), wins (34) and strikeouts (330). At Tech, she adds innings pitched (302 2/3), saves (7), appearances (54), starts (41) complete games (33) and shutouts (14) – the latter two shared with Adrienne Fortmann.
In Tech career records, she is first in victories with 103 – 37 more than the No. 2 finisher. In strikeouts, first with 1,021 – 285 more than the No. 2, Danielle Liberatore, finished with in 2017. She also pitched the most innings for a Tech hurler – going 1,016 2/3 innings in the circle.
The only career category she doesn’t own? Earned run average, bested by Hall of Famer Lori Bayless with a 1.23 mark. Bynum ended her career with a 1.37 ERA, second best in team history.
Over the course of her highly-decorated career, Graham threw six no-hitters, started 140 games in 193 appearances, recorded 19 saves, pitched in 102 complete games, threw 43 shutouts, and walked 205 batters to 1,021 strikeouts.
On nine occasions, she was named the OVC’s Pitcher of the Week. All four years, she was named to the All-OVC team – three times as a first-teamer, once on the second team as a freshman. Three times, she was the OVC Tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Twice she was Tennessee Tech’s Co-Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year (once with Hall of Famer Emily Christian Hughes, the other with teammate Beth Boden) and the OVC’s Pitcher of the Year. Once she was named to Louisville Slugger/National Fastpitch Coaches Association’s All-South Region Second Team roster and was the OVC’s Female Athlete of the Year in 2006.
Over the course of her four seasons, the Tennessee Tech softball team finished 179-87. Bynum won 103 of those games. The team won two OVC regular-season titles in 2006 and 2007, as well as three OVC Tournaments, earning NCAA Regional bids to Athens, Ga. (2005), Knoxville, Tenn. (2006) and Tuscaloosa, Ala. (2007).
The highlight of that final run was a 4-2 victory over the host Crimson Tide as Graham went the distance, allowing two runs on four hits and six walks to stave off the regional host. She then won the next morning in a 3-1 contest against California, sending Tech to the regional championship for the first time in program history, falling twice to Alabama.
After graduating from Tech with a management degree in 2007, Graham joined the coaching staff at Western Kentucky for five seasons, then returned to Tennessee Tech in 2012.
The following season, Graham was named the head coach of the Tech softball team and has held the role for five years with her contract recently extended for another three. She currently holds a 119-153 record, 63-55 in OVC play.
She helped guide the team to an OVC Tournament championship in 2015, earning a berth in the NCAA Regional at Auburn, Ala.
Graham was selected as a 2017 inductee to the Tennessee Tech Sports Hall of Fame.
Graham and her husband, Tech athletic trainer Adam Graham, recently welcomed their first child, Hattie.
Carly Van Auken joined the Tennessee Tech softball staff as an assitant coach in August 2017.
Van Auken spent the last two seasons as a graduate assistant with Piedmont College, where she coached hitting, infield and outfield, coordinated and worked with hitters, served as the team's recruiting coordinator and created practice plans and coordinated camps.
In her two seasons, she helped lead Piedmont to a 55-30 record with an NCAA regional appearance and two first-place finishes in the USA South Conference.
"I'm excited about the opportunity and ready to gain some new experiences," Van Auken said. "I'm also ready to don the purple and gold and get set to further my coaching experiences."
Van Auken is no stranger to working with Graham, serving as an instructor for three years with the Championship Softball camps.
"I plan on doing everything I can to help improve the team," she said, "as I try to expand my own coaching style and try to improve the coaching staff and the program."
As a student-athlete, Van Auken played at Kennesaw State, helping the Owls win an Atlantic Sun Conference regular-season championship in 2012 with 20 runs scored and 18 RBI. Following her playing career, she was a student assistant for KSU.
"I'm just ready to be back on the Division I level," Van Auken said. "Having that experience at Kennesaw, it's just a completely different level, so I'm looking forward to the challenges it presents as a coach."
In addition to those roles, Van Auken also was a staff member for Fastpitch Prep, writing blogs, providing lessons for younger athletes and assisting in camps run by the organization. She has also been an instructor for Premier Sports Services.
Van Auken received her bachelor's degree in psychology from Kennesaw State in 2015, then recently completed her MBA from Piedmont in July.