Former GCSC Softball Coach Charged with Grand Theft
Former Gulf Coast State College women's softball coach Susan Painter is charged with grand theft. An arrest warrant was issued Monday for Painter, and she turned herself in Thursday evening at 11:30 p.m.
Painter is charged with embezzling more than $10,000 from the college and student athletes on the softball team. According to the affidavit, Painter allegedly charged 2 student athletes $125 per month in rent from August 2013 to August 2014 for a total of $2,250.
Painter also arranged the team to participate in a tournament in Las Vegas earlier this year. Gulf Coast State College paid $10,428 for plane tickets for each of the players and coaches. Painter is charged with collecting $300 from each player for the tickets for a total of $6,000.
On the same trip, the college provided Painter $4,752 for meals for the players and coaches. Further investigation revealed that the players were supposed to receive $216 worth of meals on the trip, but each player received only $116, a difference of approximately $2,000. All players were interviewed during the investigation.
According to Investigator Craig Romans from the Bay County Sheriff's Office, Painter "used her position of authority and trust as head coach of the women's softball team" to embezzle the funds. Roman went on to say that Painter "kept the money with the intent to permanently deprive the college. Because the college will reimburse each of the players, Gulf Coast State College was the victim" in the case.
Painter was head softball coach at Gulf Coast for 21 years prior to her dismissal last week by the College's Board of Trustees. According to Gulf Coast's website, Painter came to Gulf Coast State in 1993 as head coach of a slow pitch program and was instrumental in developing a fast pitch program that is one of the strongest in the country.
As part of the National Junior College Athletic Association, the Lady Commodores won:
7 Panhandle Conference Championships
3 FCSAA Region VIII Championships
Finished 2nd place in 3 NJCAA national tournaments
Individually, the Lady Commodores' student athletes have earned numerous All-American designations, All-State awards, Region VIII honors, and Panhandle Conference accolades during the twenty seasons.
Painter was selected as the FCCAA Coach of the Year in 1998, 2001, and 2006. In 2007, Painter coached the USA NJCAA Softball All-Stars at the World University Games in Bangkok, Thailand. She has served as a Division I Representative on the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Board and is currently the NJCAA President of the Softball Coaches Association.
Painter was an All-American pitcher for Florida State University and won two AIAW National Championships in softball in 1981 and 1982. She was inducted into the FSU Hall of Fame in 2000.