SFA Hires McNutt to Lead Softball Program
July 9, 2007
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Stephen F. Austin director of athletics Robert Hill announced Monday the hiring of Gay McNutt as head coach of the Ladyjack softball program.
McNutt, a decorated collegiate player, is a veteran with 13 years of head coaching experience under her belt. She spent six years as the head coach of Southland Conference team Northwestern State before taking the reins at Southern Miss for the last seven seasons. In all, McNutt's teams have won five conference championships and finished in the league's Top 5 on three other occasions, with four NCAA Regional Tournament appearances.
"I'm very pleased to announce Gay McNutt as our new softball coach," Hill said. "Coach McNutt has already proven she can win in the Southland Conference, and I think she is the person who will turn our softball program into a conference power."
In her seven seasons at Southern Miss, McNutt compiled a 211-220 (.490) record. She guided the Golden Eagles to a pair of Conference USA championships -- in 2001 and 2004 -- and became the school's all-time winningest coach during the 2004 season. Southern Miss reached the NCAA Regional Tournament in both its championship seasons under McNutt.
McNutt's first head coaching stop was at Northwestern State. After a rocky start in 1995 and '96, McNutt turned the Demons into one of the best teams in the Southland Conference over the course of her last four seasons in charge. She took Northwestern from an eighth-place finish in '96 to the No. 3 slot the following season. In 1998, McNutt's Demons won the SLC title with a 40-18 overall record and reached the NCAA Regionals. Northwestern State won the championship again in '99, then completed the three-peat in 2000, again qualifying for the NCAA Championships. In all, McNutt compiled a 161-168 (.489) record at Northwestern State, including a 112-61 (.647) mark in her final three seasons.
At SFA, McNutt will be charged with the task of turning the Ladyjacks into a competitive force in the Southland Conference, a task she has already proven she is up to. She inherited a Northwestern State team that had put together a combined record of 79-91 in the three seasons prior to her arrival. Three years later, she had the Demons competing for conference championships. McNutt holds a 136-84 (.618) career record against Southland opponents. Her teams have posted a winning record against every SLC foe but one.
McNutt has been honored numerous times in her coaching career. She was a three-time Southland Conference Coach of the Year at Northwestern State and took Conference USA Coach of the Year honors in 2004.
McNutt was a four-year starter behind the plate at Texas A&M, starring for the Aggies from 1982-1985. She was named to the all-region team each of those four years and earned All-American honors as a senior in 1985. McNutt, who served as team captain in each of her last two seasons at A&M, helped lead the Aggies to a national title in 1983 and a second-place finish at the Women's College World Series the following season.
From A&M, McNutt moved to an assistant coach position at Louisiana-Lafayette, where she completed her bachelor's degree in behavioral science. She went on to serve as the assistant strength and conditioning coach at the University of Houston from 1990 to 1994. McNutt then spent one year as the assistant softball coach at Alvin Community College before taking the position at Northwestern State.
-- SFA --