IMPERIAL, Calif. - One of the Desert Southwest's longest-tenured and most respected head coaches will soon be hanging up the whistle; at least in the sport of collegiate softball.
Jill Lerno has been the head coach of the Imperial Valley Lady Arabs softball team for the past 24 years, after starting out as the program's assistant coach for only a single season.
Through that time, Lerno has experienced the up's and down's of keeping the program going, even in times when it was a struggle just to field a complete team.
"My legacy I want to leave going; I kept this program going for 25 years. It's never not had a program. It's never not fielded a team and everyone that comes out here has learned a lot, coming out of high school. There's a lot of players that I get that don't really get the experience at high school that come out here and play and they do very well."
Lerno will officially retire at the end of the season, but will still coach with the Imperial High School varsity volleyball team.