Dayton, Tenn. – Kayla Watkins, who took over the helm of the Bryan College Softball team in 2016-17, has left to fill the vacant position of Assistant Softball Coach at the University of Southern Mississippi, a NCAA Div. I program, where she will be responsible for the areas of recruiting and pitching.
Watkins is thankful for the opportunity and time God has given her at Bryan. "My time at Bryan has been such an incredible experience," said Watkins. "When I came here a year ago, I knew that I would have the distinct privilege of working with a great group of girls towards pursuing excellence on and off the field, and most importantly, in our pursuit of Christ. It has been nothing short of that. I am grateful to each of the girls who make up Bryan Softball, for what they have given to this program, and I am incredibly thankful to President Dr. Livesay and Coach Taylor Hasty for the opportunity to lead this program this year."
During her single season with the Lions, she oversaw a 23-24 overall record and impressive 15-5 mark in Appalachian Athletic Conference play in the regular-season, giving way to sharing the title of AAC Regular-Season Champions with 16th-ranked Reinhardt University (Ga.).
Other feats by Watkins and the Lions included a thrilling extra-inning upset of then 14th-ranked Martin Methodist College (Tenn.) and a win over then 2nd-ranked Brenau University (Ga.). Watkins also had the opportunity to guide standout slugger, Olivia Gore, during her senior campaign, finishing as the all-time hits (223) and doubles (48) leader in program history. Victory in both the classroom and on the field led to four Lions earning All-Conference First Team honors, one being named to All-Conference Second Team, a pair of newcomers making the All-Freshman list, two All-Defensive Team members, and five All-Academic honorees.
Hasty, the Athletic Director and Head Baseball Coach, remarked "Coach Watkins did a fabulous job during her time here, and she will be greatly missed. I wish her all of the best as she moves to USM."