Kayla Watkins enters the 2016-17 season beginning her first year at the helm of the Bryan College Softball program.
Watkins comes to Bryan College from Madison, Miss. where she coached the highly respected Madison Central Softball Lady Jags for the last nine seasons. She began serving the team in the fall of ’07 while she was finishing her final semester before graduating from Mississippi College with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Education. She is currently enrolled at William Carey University where she will graduate with a Master’s Degree in Interscholastic Athletic Administration this August.
Her passion for softball continued to develop when as a student-athlete she made her mark at Mississippi College as a standout Lady Choctaw, earning the MVP award in 2005, receiving both American Southwest Conference (ASC) First Team All-East Division recognition and Newcomer of the Year in 2005, ASC Academic All-Conference and the Leadership Award in 2006, CoSIDA Academic All-America Team honors in 2007, Outstanding Senior Leadership Award in 2007, and taking the crown of the ASC East Division in 2007. In her three years, she posted a notable .381 batting average, 1.58 ERA, a near-perfect 20-3 record, and compiled 104 strikeouts in 125 innings pitched.
The success on the ball field followed into her coaching career as she led the Madison "Big Blue" to reigning MHSAA 6A State Champions three consecutive years (2010-2012) and MHSAA 6A State Runner-Up three straight seasons (2013-2015). Watkins showed versatility and consistency as she coached a team to becoming MHSAA 6A State Champions in Slow Pitch in 2011 and MHSAA 6A North Half Champions five back-to-back years (2010-2015).
Along with coaching the Lady Jags, Watkins has aided as a conference speaker at the Easton Mid-South Coaches' Clinic and as an All-Star Coach for the Mississippi Association of Coaches North South All-Star Games. Her relentless heart to serve and continued success gave way to her earning MHSAA Softball Coach of the Year in 2011. Producing a career coaching record of 218-59 and seeing off a total of 24 student-athletes who have continued to pursue their dreams of softball at the collegiate level speaks volume of Watkins' talents.
Prior to coaching at Madison Central, her high-quality skill set opened the door for her to coach competitive tournament teams from 2005-2007 and perform as a pitching instructor.
"I am incredibly excited about the opportunity to join the community at Bryan College," said Watkins. "There is clearly a rich history on the softball diamond at Bryan, and I cannot wait to get to campus and begin working with these girls towards an Appalachian Athletic Conference Championship. I am also so grateful for the opportunity to walk alongside and shepherd these young women in their pursuit of Christ."
Watkins currently resides in Dayton, Tenn.