Kim Ensey has known she wanted to work with young athletes since she was a teenager. Armed with her master’s degree from the United States Sports Academy, Ensey has now built a career around the sport of softball in sunny Southern California.

Ensey earned her Master of Sports Science degree in sports management from the Academy in 2011. She was recently hired as the head softball coach at Chino Hills (Calif.) High School. She’s also the recruiting coordinator for the So Cal Choppers club softball organization.

“During my education journey, I found myself wanting to stay at the youth levels of our sport,” Ensey said. “Through my Academy courses I learned so much about management and marketing. I believe my degree has allowed me to be better prepared for the business side of coaching. As an athlete, we just show up to practices and games with our teams. We don’t actually know what goes on behind the scenes to allow us to be able to practice and play. My degree in sports management prepared me for the side of sport I didn’t learn as an athlete.”

A former All-Conference softball player at Adams State University in Colorado, Ensey has devoted her career to softball. In addition to her high school and club ball work, she is the Southern California Regional Event Coordinator for College Sports Evaluations and the player liaison and coordinator for the Premier Girls Fastpitch High School All American Game, which has been broadcast live on ESPN.

Like many of the Academy’s students and graduates, Ensey pursued her education while working full time.

“Being able to take my Academy classes online allowed me to make my own schedule for my school work to accommodate for varying practice and game times as well as having an additional non-softball job,” she said. “Being able to balance that time allowed me to grow my softball brand with a strong foundation and I was able to do it without cutting corners and now I am blessed that I het to call softball my profession.”

Inspired by her father’s dedication as a coach and her mother’s willingness to volunteer with her local recreational league, Ensey learned early on that she wanted to pursue sport as a career. Prior to being hired at Chino Hills, she coached at Cerritos High School, Edison High School, Santa Fe High School, and in the Firecrackers Softball club organization.

“My dad was my coach and I always admired how he focused on teaching the game and not cutting corners,” Ensey said. “He was always learning by going to every coaching clinic and reading books and just trying to be the best coach he could.

“I also saw my mom volunteer countless hours for my sports teams and organizations whether it was AYSO or PTA or managing my teams. When our softball league was well behind the other leagues in our area, she worked hard to become educated in other league’s successes and was a leader in changing the direction and standards for our group. I saw the positive impact their dedication was having on my teammates and me and I hoped I would be able to do the same.

“I have a strong passion for sports so naturally I knew I wanted to make sure my career allowed me to stay involved. I never imagined I would be where I am now.”