Jennifer Steele has been named Marshall University’s new head softball coach. For the past three seasons, Coach Steele led the Jacksonville University Dolphins to 86 wins, including 30 wins in 2017, which is the program’s best since 2013. Jacksonville is a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference and the ASUN finished the 2017 season fifth overall in conference RPI.
“I would like to thank Mike Hamrick for the incredible opportunity to be the next softball coach at Marshall University,” Steele said. “From the moment I stepped on campus there was a contagious, infectious energy and it was evident that everyone bled Green and White. Beatrice Crane-Banford and the entire search committee reiterated how special of a place Marshall is and I am excited to be part of the Herd family!”
Steele now takes over a team that just completed one of the best seasons in program history. Marshall’s NCAA tournament bid was its first since 2013. The Herd finished with a 42-12 record after being eliminated by Illinois in the Lexington, Kentucky, Regional. On top of the regular-season conference title and Stanton’s coach of the year award, Marshall also captured the Conference USA Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year awards.
The program is expecting to return several key contributors from last year’s group, including first-team All-C-USA performers Taylor McCord and Elicia D’Orazio. McCord led the team with 12 home runs in 2017 and D’Orazio’s 59 stolen bases were the most in the nation.
“I am thankful for the strong foundation set by the previous staff and am excited to meet the student-athletes in the coming weeks,” Steele said. “I am committed to ensuring that we are excellent in the classroom, on the field and in the community. I am looking forward to connecting with alumni and the Huntington area, as well as representing Marshall out on the road as we continue to target competitive, high-character, quality student-athletes.”
Steele spent time as an assistant coach at George Mason and her alma mater Longwood and also served as a head coach at Randolph College, where she was named the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 2009. During her time at Jacksonville, she hit the ground running as the team made an eight-win improvement in her first season and never won fewer than 28 games in her three years leading the program.
“We are fortunate to have Jennifer lead our softball program,” Marshall athletic director Mike Hamrick said. “She brings great experience and will ensure that Marshall athletics’ tradition of producing high-character student-athletes continues. We are all very excited for her to get started in Huntington.”
Read more about Head Softball Coach Jennifer Steele at the official Marshall University softball site: