FAIRBORN — Laura Matthews has been named head coach of the Wright State University softball team, WSU Associate Athletics Director Joylynn Brown announced Oct. 10. Matthews comes to Wright State from Wittenberg University, where she served as head coach for five seasons.
A 2008 graduate of the University of Dayton, Matthews arrived at Wittenberg as head coach in 2013 after a successful four-year stint as an assistant coach at Lake Forest College.
“We are excited to have Laura lead our softball program,” Brown said. “She brings great experience and success to our team. Her holistic approach to coaching is a perfect match for our culture. We are confident coach Matthews will continue the Raider softball winning tradition, while remaining committed to graduating high-character, successful student-athletes. We are pleased to welcome her to the Raider family.”
“I’m thrilled and honored to be a part of the Wright State athletic department and the softball program,” Matthews said. “It is definitely bittersweet to leave Wittenberg after five incredible years, but I am excited for the opportunity to lead the Raider softball team. Thank you to Joylynn Brown, Bob Grant and the entire administrative team for trusting me to lead the women in the softball program on and off the field. I can’t wait to get started.”
Over her five seasons with Wittenberg, Matthews led the Tigers to a 128-57-1 record for a .691 winning percentage. Her teams have finished first or second in each season in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC), including a regular-season title in 2017 and a trip to the NCAA tournament in 2016.
Besides Matthews being recognized as the NCAC Coach of the Year in 2017, seven Tigers were recognized as All-Region, five were named league Newcomers of the Year, two were Pitchers of the Year, with 26 all league players and a College Slports Information Directors Association (CoSIDA) Academic All-American during her five seasons.
During Matthews’ four years on campus as an assistant coach, Lake Forest posted an overall record of 72-68-1. Matthews oversaw the pitching staff and helped the Foresters drop their team earned run average by 0.70 runs per game in 2012. Lake Forest received recognition as they were ranked 24th nationally when they finished 24-14-1.
Matthews, who graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Sport Management, was a four-year starter at catcher at Dayton, capping her career with her selection to second-team ESPN the Magazine’s Academic All-America Softball Team in 2008. That season, she posted career-bests in hits (44), runs (37), doubles (8), runners caught stealing (16) and a team-best .462 on-base percentage while starting all 51 games behind the plate for the Flyers.
Story courtesy of Wright State University Athletics.