Duke Tabs Young as Program’s First Head Coach
Category: NCAA I News
Created: 29 July 2015
DURHAM, N.C. – Former Big Ten Player of the Year Marissa Young will be the first head softball coach at Duke University, announced by Vice President and Director of Athletics Dr. Kevin White on Wednesday. Young spent the past two years as an assistant coach at the University of North Carolina.
The Blue Devils are scheduled to open varsity play during the 2017-18 academic year. Eleven current ACC schools sponsor softball including Boston College, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, North Carolina, N.C. State, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Virginia and Virginia Tech.
“In Marissa Young, Duke was able to secure the talents of one of the brightest young stars in the softball coaching profession,” Dr. White said. “Her pedigree as both a coach and a player is simply spectacular. Having played for, and excelled in, one of the premier programs in America at Michigan, Marissa understands winning at the highest level of college softball. Even more impressive is her advocacy, energy and passion for student-athletes. Unequivocally, we believe she is the right coach to build an amazing softball program from the ground up here at Duke. We are ecstatic she is joining the Duke family.”
“First and foremost I want to thank God for blessing me with this opportunity,” Young said. “I am honored by Dr. White’s belief in me and entrusting me to start the softball program at Duke. Starting a program is a once in a lifetime opportunity, but to do it at one of the nation’s most prestigious schools academically and athletically is a dream come true. Success is not a single event but a process. After meeting with Dr. White, I was confident in his visionary leadership and commitment to the process of making Duke Softball successful. The excitement on campus and within the athletic department about the start of our program has been astounding. I look forward to building this program from the ground up and to carry on the successful tradition of Duke athletics both on and off the field.
Young was a three-time All-America selection as a pitcher at the University of Michigan and was named the 2002 Big Ten Pitcher of the Year and 2003 Big Ten Player of the Year. At North Carolina, her primary responsibilities included coaching the pitchers and catchers.
In the spring of 2015, Young helped the Tar Heels to a 37-16 overall record and a berth in the NCAA Tournament after the squad won 24 contests the prior season. Young’s pitchers posted a 3.30 earned run average with 234 strikeouts in 335.1 innings pitched.
Young spent the 2012 and 2013 seasons as an assistant coach at Eastern Michigan, where she served as the compliance liaison, recruiting coordinator and managed team travel and the operational budget, among other duties. She helped coach five Academic All-America picks and five player of the week selections during her tenure at Eastern Michigan.
Prior to her stint at EMU, Young was the head coach at Concordia University in Ann Arbor, Mich., from 2008-11. In less than three years, she turned the 2-20 program to a 23-23 record, the second-most wins in a single season since an appearance in the 2002 NAIA National Tournament.
Young graduated from Michigan in 2003 as the all-time strikeout leader (927) and her 88 career wins became the second highest in program history. She also matched the then-program single-season home run record with 13 in 2003.
Young played two years of professional softball, one overseas in Italy and the second year with the Texas Thunder of the National Pro Fastpitch.
A native of Santa Ana, Calif., Young has three children: Layla, Jolyna and Kayden.
In addition to the hiring of Young, plans for a new softball stadium are already in progress. The program is scheduled to allot the NCAA maximum 12 scholarships within the first four years of competition. Currently, Duke fields a club softball team that doesn’t provide scholarships or compete on the varsity level — an NCAA Associate Club sport that competes against similar teams from other universities.
MISSISSIPPI NAMES MOWATT ASSISTANT COACH
Aug. 11, 2015
OXFORD, Miss. – Ole Miss head coach Mike Smith announced the hiring of Taryne Mowatt and Ruben Felix as full-time assistant coaches for the softball program on Friday. Mowatt brings her experience as a former All-American pitcher to the Rebels, while Felix has been promoted from the volunteer assistant coach position he held last season.
Mowatt was recently an assistant coach at California Baptist for three seasons, helping the team to NCAA regional appearances each year along with PacWest Conference championships in 2012 and 2014. As the team’s pitching coach, Mowatt instructed a pitching staff that consisted of program-record holders for wins, innings pitched and complete games. She also coached a conference pitcher of the year, freshman pitcher of the year, and three all-conference honorees.
“I am excited to welcome Taryne to our softball program here at Ole Miss,” said Coach Smith. “As a national champion and All-American, Taryne has transferred her success as a player to now coaching collegiate pitchers. Her accomplishments on the field prove that hard work and dedication pays off, and she is a valuable addition to the team.”
During her playing days, Mowatt was unstoppable in the circle as she led the University of Arizona to back-to-back national championships in 2006 and 2007. In 2007, she collected numerous awards after breaking single-season school records for innings pitched (370), strikeouts (522) and victories (42). Mowatt was named Most Valuable Player at the Women’s College World Series, setting four tournament records during the Wildcats’ 2007 national title run. After a season that went down as one of the best in NCAA softball history, Mowatt collected two ESPY awards as the Best Female Athlete and the Best Female College Athlete.
Following her successful collegiate career, Mowatt was selected in the first round of the 2008 National Pro Fastpitch Draft. She played for five teams throughout her six years as a professional, including one season in Holland competing for the Den Bosch Gryphons. In National Pro Fastpitch, Mowatt spent time with the Washington Glory, Akron Racers, Chicago Bandits and New York Comets.
Mowatt received her Bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of Arizona in 2009.
Felix, a former Major League Baseball coach, joined the Ole Miss Softball staff as the Rebels’ Volunteer Coach/Camp Coordinator for the 2015 campaign after four seasons as the top softball assistant coach & recruiting coordinator at the University of Central Florida. In two of his last three seasons at UCF, Felix helped the Knights advance to the NCAA tournament.
“Ruben was an irreplaceable asset for us last season, and he is well-deserving of this promotion to a full-time assistant coach,” noted Coach Smith. “His knowledge of the game helped our program reach new heights in 2015, and I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish in year two with Ruben on staff.”
In his first season with the Rebels, Felix helped guide the Rebels to a record-setting season offensively as Ole Miss set the mark in every offensive category. Felix also helped guide the Rebels to the program’s fourth SEC Tournament appearance in school history and tied the single-season mark for wins.
Felix graduated from Texas Tech University in 2000 with a Bachelor’s Degree in General Studies. Felix has been married for 16 years to his wife, Michelle, who is a nurse at the Oxford Children’s Clinic. They have one son, Matthew Ripken Felix.
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