NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Sometimes a new athletics season means coaching change, but it doesn’t always have to mean new faces. Former softball pitching coach Megan Rhodes Smith has been promoted to Associate Head Coach by head coach Kristin Ryman.
“Megan has done a tremendous job,” Ryman said. “She is a learner and always is looking for new ideas to be the best she can be for our program. I think this is a great next step for her in her career.”
Smith has been with the program for four years and has developed dynamic arms throughout her Lipscomb coaching career. In each of the four seasons under Smith, at least one member of the staff has been named to an ASUN All-Conference team including two, Kelly Young and Tanner Sanders, in 2015.
“I’m honored and excited to take on a new role with the Lipscomb softball team,” Smith said. “I’m grateful to have been a part of Coach Ryman’s vision and direction for this program and look forward to continuing to build on the legacy she is creating.
This past season, the Lady Bisons placed second in the ASUN and 27th in the nation in staff Earned Run Average (ERA). In Smith’s four seasons, Lipscomb has finished in the top three in the conference in ERA.
“She and I are similar thinkers in the way we approach the game,” Ryman said. “I think she is getting better and better as a coach. I’m just excited we can keep her here. She has certainly earned this.
“I think our girls loved being coached by her and have really learned from her. To me this is just the perfect next step.”
Smith’s success doesn’t just stem from the stats, however. With a master’s degree in sports psychology, Smith works as much on the mental game with her hurlers as she does on the balls and strikes.
“Lipscomb is a special place for both student-athletes and coaches. We’re looking forward to a great year with a great team.”
Playing at the University of Tennessee, Smith was a standout finishing her career as a Lady Vol second in program history in strikeouts (726), third in wins (67) and fourth in innings pitched (570.1). She posted a 67-22 record for a .753 winning percentage and also had a 1.77 earned run average, both rank fourth best all-time. She made 135 appearances including 96 starts. She also helped the Lady Vols make three appearances in the Women’s College World Series.
Smith is married to her husband Kevin and has two daughters, Jillene and Jesslyn.