Aug. 25, 2006
Columbia, Mo. - University of Missouri Director of Athletics Mike Alden announced today that Ehren Earleywine has been named the eighth Head Softball Coach for the Tiger program. A native of Jefferson City, Mo., Earleywine comes to Mizzou after serving as head coach at Georgia Tech for three seasons and assistant coach two years prior.
"I am excited to announce Ehren Earleywine as the newest addition to our coaching staff," Alden said. "Ehren brings to Missouri a passion for the sport of softball and a commitment to excellence both on and off the field. I strongly believe that Ehren will take our program to the next level. He's proven himself a solid coach in a top-notch conference and the record and credentials on Ehren's resume are indisputable."
During his five seasons at Georgia Tech, Earleywine's team made five consecutive appearances in the NCAA Regional Tournament, finishing runner-up on three occasions, while also claiming Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) regular season and tournament titles in 2005. To his credit, Earleywine was named the 2005 ACC Coach of the Year, while Georgia Tech second baseman Aileen Morales received all-region first team and ACC Co-Freshman of the Year honors. Earleywine led his team to two conference championship title game appearances over the course of three years and enters the 2006-07 campaign with an overall winning percentage of .722 (143-55), placing him 11th among active Division I Head Coaches.
"I firmly believe that the University of Missouri softball program is in a position to compete for the Big 12 title every year," Earleywine said. "One of my top priorities is to advance into an NCAA Regional Tournament every year and make a run at postseason. If and when you achieve those two things, your team will automatically rank among the top 15 to 20 programs in the nation. We always talk about winning and losing and that's all good and well, but ultimately, it's a by product of preparation and a day-by-day process that involves practice, conditioning, teamwork and effort."
In 2006, Georgia Tech displayed the top offensive season for any program in ACC history. The Ramblin' Wreck broke league single season records in home runs (75), RBI (385), doubles (99), runs scored (428), slugging percentage (.495) and total bases (903). Nationally, Tech led the country for the second straight season with 138 stolen bases and turned the most double plays of anyone in the NCAA with a school record 40. Tech was third in the nation in total bases, fourth in runs per game (6.11), fifth in home runs and tallied the sixth-best walk total (249) in NCAA history.
A 1994 graduate of Westminster College, Earleywine played baseball at Missouri State University (formerly Southwest Missouri State) for one year before transferring to the Fulton, Mo., school for the remainder of his collegiate career. Earleywine served as an assistant coach at Westminster through the 1997 campaign under the guidance of former Major League Baseball outfielder and former Tiger, Phil Bradley, then took the reigns as head coach until 1999 after which he was named assistant baseball coach at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in 2000, remaining there until 2002 before taking the Head Assistant Coaching position at Georgia Tech.
"Being offered the job at Missouri is truly a dream come true for me and my family," Earleywine said. "The opportunity to coach in my home state, 30 miles from home is as good as it gets. I feel fortunate to be in my destination job with so much career ahead of me. I hope to elevate the program into new heights and I look forward to getting into the process as soon as possible."
Earleywine, a graduate of Jefferson City High School, inherits a Mizzou softball team that reached the NCAA Regional Tournament in three of the past four years and the Big 12 title game in two of the past three.
Earleywine's wife Lisa, a native of Linn, Mo., along with three-year old son Connor and one-year old daughter Duran joined Earleywine in the morning press conference held in the Onofrio Room of the Mizzou Athletics Training Complex. The recently renovated facility is home to the future softball coaching offices and locker room.