BOCA RATON, Fla. - Georgia College & State University assistant softball coach Mandy Harris recently accepted the position of head softball coach at Lynn University. Lynn Director of Athletics Kristen Moraz announced the hiring of Harris as head softball coach Friday (June 13). She becomes the fifth coach in program history.
"Lynn University is excited to welcome Coach Harris to the Fighting Knights team," said Moraz. "Her unwavering commitment to NCAA Division II and its ideals mirror that of Lynn. We look forward to her enhancing the student-athlete experience on the field while continuing to attract the high caliber scholar-athletes this institution has come to expect."
Harris arrives on campus after having helped build the Lady Bobcats into a nationally-ranked program over the last three seasons. Georgia College and State averaged 40 wins per season during her three-year tenure, reaching the NCAA Tournament each season, including a NCAA World Series appearance in 2006.
The squad posted a 120-48 (.714) record over the last three seasons, including two of the top three single-season wins totals in school history, No. 1 in 2006 (45) and No. 3 in 2008 (40). She helped lead the Lady Bobcats to the 2008 Peach Belt Conference (PBC) Tournament title, the first in program history. In working with the hitters, Harris aided players to snap the single-season home run records at GCSU in back-to-back seasons when Heather Jones hit 12 in 2006, and Keidra Baitey drove 15 in 2007.
"I'm very grateful to Lynn University and Kristen Moraz for giving me my first opportunity to be a head coach," Harris said. "Obviously I'm sad to leave Georgia College because of the wonderful staff and student-athletes but I'm overjoyed to be working with the Fighting Knights softball program."
The Blue and White will be looking to right a ship that has gotten off course the past few years. From 2001-05, LU averaged over 34 wins a season and made an NCAA Tournament appearance.
"I'm really looking forward to getting to know the team and even more excited about getting on the recruiting trail," adds Harris. "There is a lot of work to be done to get Lynn in the hunt for a Sunshine State Conference championship and appearance in the NCAA Tournament."
Prior to her arrival at GCSU, Harris coached four years at Wingate University where she was a graduate assistant for three years and associate head coach in 2005. During her time there, the Bulldogs averaged over 32 wins and advanced to the South Atlantic Conference Tournament all four seasons. The Plano, Texas native completed her master's degree in business administration in 2004.
Harris graduated with a degree in psychology from Francis Marion University in Florence, S.C., in 2001 where she was a four-year starter at shortstop and a teammate of Lady Bobcats head coach Ginger Chaffinch. She earned All-Peach Belt Conference honors as a senior after batting .384 and was named the Patriot's Most Valuable Player. Harris was a three-time member of the PBC Presidential Honor Roll and also earned Academic All-District honors as a senior.
The GCSU Department of Athletics sponsors 10 NCAA Division II athletic programs over three seasons. As a Division II program, GCSU prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the Bobcats' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Follow the Bobcats and their positive impact on the Milledgeville community at www.gcsu.edu/bobcats.