New Coach New Year

Justin Helms, Multi Media Journalist

After former Head Coach Kim Dean stepped down in favor of other opportunities, new Head Coach Sharon Perkins was hired after the season last May. This will be Perkins first coaching job since 2013 when she was the head coach at Georgia Tech. Timing and her long-time relationship with Athletic Director Jared Benko is why she came back to coach again.


 “Jared Benko, when I was an assistant at Georgia, he was a student. So, I remember when he was like 18 years old, he was our sports info guy. He always said when he got his first big dog job, he was going to come after me and get me back into college coaching,” said Coach Perkins. 


Coach Perkins brings a winning history along with her, she won three ACC championships and had six NCAA tournament appearances while at Georgia Tech. 5th year pitcher, Rylee Waldrep, noticed the difference in her style from day one.


“She’s just very blunt. She’ll just tell you what she thinks right off the top of her head, and I really like that. We can be serious when we need to but joke around at the same time,” said Waldrep. 


During her almost ten years away from college softball Coach Perkins was able to learn a lot. What she learned helped her overcome modern sports challenges.


“Some of the NCAA rules are a little bit different, just things like that but it was cool for me. I think to kind of get away from it for a while, and maybe change my approach and my style of coaching a little bit, it has done me some good for sure,” Perkins said. 


Her different approach has the team excited and energized for the start of the season


“I feel like the team has had more energy getting excited to play. We had a night practice on Sunday. It was probably the loudest we’ve been at a practice, which is crazy cause it was like 8:30 at night,” Waldrep said.


They will play their first of five games this weekend here at Eagle Field against Binghamton on Friday at 4pm.