Clarksville, Ark.-Laurie Adkins has been named the new Head Softball Coach at the University of the Ozarks, it was announced by Ozarks' Athletic Director Jimmy Clark Thursday.
Adkins has softball experience ranging from the NCAA I level to high-level summer travel teams. Adkins, a native of Farmington, spent the 1998 and 1999 seasons at the University of Arkansas as a volunteer assistant and then went to Northwest Community College to serve as the head coach of their club team. From 2001-2002, Adkins was the head coach at Fayetteville High School where she quickly turned the program into a winner, leading the Lady Bulldogs to back-to-back state tournaments.
“We are excited to have an experienced coach like Coach Adkins join our department,” said Clark. “She has nearly 30 years of coaching experience under her belt. She is a highly motivated and driven individual who is passionate about softball. She is an excellent teacher of the game and a person that has an extensive softball knowledge. She has a desire to make our program competitive. I want the softball program to make progress and I believe having Coach Adkins will make that happen.”
Adkins, who has never experienced a losing season as a head coach, was instrumental in the development of fastpitch softball in Arkansas. She has been a head coach of travel teams, given private softball lessons and taught at a number of regional softball clinics for more than a decade.
“I’m excited about selling the University of the Ozarks,” said Adkins. “The campus is beautiful and the school has a lot to offer academically. I think the fact that we have such a diverse academic offering is appealing to recruits. The 13:1 faculty/student ratio is also a selling point. The faculty here are top-notch, too. Every building I walked into had positive aspects. I really like the landscape of the Clarksville area. The proximity to the outdoors is a selling point.”
Adkins believes all aspects of the game must be in place in order to develop a winning program.
“I want to have all the pieces to the puzzle,” said Adkins. “I believe if you don’t have every aspect of the game covered you have a chink in your armor. We are fortunate that we play in such a strong conference. We know where we need to be. We don’t have to go far away to get good competition. We are in building mode and we will be a young team next season, but the girls here are eager to learn. My expectations for the season are to start the building process and have a winning season. We have a long way to go, but we’ll get there with some dedication.”
Adkins received her bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from University of Arkansas in 1999. She is currently pursing her master’s degree in kinesiology from Texas Women’s University. She is a member of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.
Adkins has four children: Annie (27), Madi (23), Ben (19) and Jake (18).
She becomes the third head coach in program history and takes over a Lady Eagles team that finished with a 9-31 record in 2010.