Collins named LSUE softball coach
LSU Eunice has named Meghan Collins as the third head softball coach in program history, athletic director Jeff Willis announced on Tuesday.
Collins' hiring is pending approval by the LSU Board of Supervisors.
“Coach Collins stood out among an impressive candidate pool thanks to her credentials and overall passion for the coaching profession,” LSU Eunice athletic director Jeff Willis said.
“Her entire coaching career has centered in the Gulf Coast, and her relationships and reputation as a recruiter, both state wide and regionally, really stood out.”
Collins comes to the Cajun Prairie after two seasons as an assistant at the University of Montevallo.
While with the Falcons, Collins guided an offense in 2018 that was ranked Top 10 nationally in four separate offensive categories including batting average, on-base percentage, scoring and stolen bases.
Montevallo's 2018 offense was led by NFCA Golden Shoe Award winner, Darbi Duke, given to the NCAA Division II stolen bases leader.
The Falcons made a Gulf South Conference Tournament appearance in her first year with the team.
“As a Louisiana native, I could not be more thankful for the opportunity to come back to my home state and be a part of such a special culture at LSU Eunice,” the new softball head coach Meghan Collins said.
“I want to mold our team like the people of south Louisiana – passionately; hard-working; and win in everything we do-- on the field, in the classroom and in the community.”
The Lacombe native served as an assistant at Southeastern Louisiana from 2015-2017, concentrating on hitting.
Under Collins’ tutelage, Southeastern Louisiana finished tied for the national lead with 162 stolen bases and ranked second in NCAA Division I with 2.95 stolen bases per game while also featuring the leader in stolen bases in the Southland Conference.
In her first season with Southeastern Louisiana in 2016, the squad finished atop NCAA Division I with 172 stolen bases, breaking the previous school record by more than 100 stolen bases.
Collins coached four student-athletes who earned All-Southland Conference honors, including the Newcomer of the Year in the conference in 2016.
Collins also coached five student-athletes named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-American Scholar Team.
“Coach Collins is a proven winner on the field, but more importantly off of it, as both a player and coach,” Willis said. “It became clear throughout our interviewing process that her ideals of a true student-athlete aligned with ours, and we look forward to watching her develop tremendous young women in all facets on campus.”
“I believe that the 'student' aspect of student-athlete comes first,” Collins added. “It’s important to prepare our young ladies for not only the sport they love, but the work force and their life after the game.”
The University of South Alabama graduate started her coaching career at her alma mater as a member of the Jaguars’ staff for two years upon graduation during the 2014 and 2015 seasons.
At South Alabama as a student-athlete, Collins helped lead the Jaguars to two Sun Belt Conference Championships and two NCAA Regional Finals.
South Alabama's 2012 Sun Belt Title was a first in program history.
Collins still holds the program record with 189 consecutive starts as well as top marks for doubles (40) and walks (102), most games played (213) and is Top 10 in 13 different offensive categories.
She also holds single season records for highest batting average (.346), on-base percentage (.466) and most home runs (9).
In addition to her prowess on the field, Collins was a standout in the classroom, earning NFCA Academic All-American honors and on the Sun Belt Conference Commissioner's List all four years as a student-athlete.
Collins also received the "Extra Mile" Award, which is given to the athlete that most displays hard work, leadership, and goes the "extra mile" on a daily basis.
The award was voted on by her teammates and give to her following her freshman and sophomore seasons.
Collins received her Bachelor's Degree in Exercise Science in 2013 and her Masters of Science in 2014 from the University of South Alabama.
Collins was also a manager and volunteer assistant for the Jaguars for two years following her playing career.
The LSUE softball program begun under the direction of Brian DeWitt from 2006 to 2008.
DeWitt had a 61-67 overall record in his three seasons.
Andy Lee took over the Lady Bengal program in 2009 and went 582-109 with national championships in 2011, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2019.