Northwestern State Hires Memphis Assistant to Head Softball Program
July 10, 2008
NATCHITOCHES, La. - Former University of Memphis assistant Donald Pickett was named the new head softball coach at Northwestern State on Wednesday.
Northwestern director of athletics Greg Burke announced the hiring, which is subject to the approval of the Board of Supervisors of the University of Louisiana system.
Pickett replaces Becky McMurtry, who resigned earlier this year after three seasons as head coach.
"Donald is ready to be a head coach," said Memphis head coach Windy Thees. "His softball knowledge is incredible and he does a great job of getting to know his players and recruits."
The 30-year-old Pickett has 10 years of collegiate coaching experience, spending the last two years helping develop an infant program at Memphis that finished its third season in 2008. The Tigers went 61-55 during Pickett's two-year stint with the program and finished the C-USA Championship Tournament in fifth place both years.
Before coming to Memphis, Pickett worked eight years on a pair of highly successful programs at UT-Chattanooga and Chattanooga State Community College as a member of Frank Reed's coaching staff. At Chattanooga State, he was part of a staff that coached the team to three top-five finishes in the junior college softball world series along with three regional and conference championships.
He also has coached the Austin (Tenn.) Eagles American Softball Association summer team to four national tournament appearances and two top-five finishes in the ASA nationals.
"Donald Pickett is a man of character and integrity," said Memphis senior woman administrator Lynn Parkes. "He loves the game of softball and loves working with young people. I think he will do a fantastic job."
Pickett takes over a Northwestern State program that has three NCAA Tournament appearances in the past decade (1998, 2000, 2002), three straight Southland Conference crowns from 1998-2000, and five appearances in the SLC Tournament championship game starting in 1998.