Northwestern State names new head softball coach
NATCHITOCHES, La. (NSU) - Northwestern State Director of Athletics Kevin Bostian announced the hiring of Lacy Prejean as the next head coach of the NSU softball program.
Prejean comes to Natchitoches after spending the past five seasons as an assistant at UL Lafayette helping lead the Ragin’ Cajuns to four Sun Belt Championships, four NCAA Regionals and the Seattle Super Regional this past year.
An introductory press conference for Prejean is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Wednesday, August 2, inside the Stroud Room in the Donald G. Kelly Athletic Fieldhouse. The news conference will stream free through www.nsudemons.com.
“When you look for a head coach, there are certain qualities you would like that person to embody,” Bostian said. “Lacy Prejean checks the boxes we wanted to see as the next Northwestern State softball coach. She has an insatiable work ethic and is not afraid to get her hands dirty to accomplish the goals she has for herself and for her program.
“She is deeply tied and rooted to her home state, which gives her insight into what type of person fits well here. Lacy played the game at a high level and has played for and coached alongside some of the most successful and influential coaches in college softball. The combination of those factors has prepared her to become a successful head coach, and we look forward to seeing her do just that at Northwestern State.”
Prejean worked on the staff at ULL that won an average of 49 games in each of the past five non-COVID-shortened seasons. In each of those seasons, they also had more than 20 conference wins, including a perfect 25-0 run through the Sun Belt in her first year on staff in 2019.
During that time, the Ragin’ Cajuns also won the conference tournament title each year, advancing to the NCAA Tournament with regional appearances at Ole Miss, Clemson and twice at LSU. ULL made its first trip to the Super Regionals since 2016 this past season at Washington.
“I’m honored and could not be more excited to join the Northwestern State family and lead the softball team,” Prejean said. “I’m looking forward to working with the talented student-athletes and staff to achieve success on the field but also to become champions academically and athletically. We are going to build on the strong culture and foundation that Coach (Donald) Pickett has established over the past 15 years and continue to strive for excellence in every aspect of being a student-athlete.”
The team’s success of the previous five seasons in Lafayette for Prejean was in many ways reminiscent of the success she saw there in her first stint with her hometown school.
The Scott native began her coaching career with the Ragin’ Cajuns in 2004 after an outstanding four-year playing career at Alabama. ULL also won a pair of conference titles then and earned three NCAA Regional appearances in her first three seasons with the team.
Three years after returning home to begin her career, Prejean joined her alma mater to continue it.
She worked on the staff with Hall of Fame coach Patrick Murphy as the Director of Softball Operations at Alabama from 2007-09. There she managed many off-field duties that helped round out and add to her coaching toolbox, all of which were instrumental to consecutive WCWS appearances for the Tide during her two seasons on staff.
“Lacy will always be one of my favorite student-athletes I’ve coached at Alabama,” Murphy said. “She will create a family atmosphere in Natchitoches like never seen before. The young women who play for her will love the entire experience.”
After a stint working for her family business back home and coaching travel softball for the Louisiana Hotshots 14u and 16u teams, Prejean found her way back to the Cajun staff with the hiring of coach Gerry Glasco in 2018.
A former catcher, Prejean served as a defensive coach during both stops with the Ragin’ Cajuns while also assisting the head coach with offensive development. With her guidance, the Cajuns posted two of the top 10 best single-season team fielding percentages in school history in the past five seasons.
“Lacy will be a very successful head coach,” UL head coach Gerry Glasco said. “She is extremely intelligent and her work habit matches her intelligence. She is personable, charismatic and energetic. In short, she is a home run hire for Northwestern State.”
She has helped develop five NCAA All-Americans, including Danyele Gomez, Summer Ellyson and most recently Karly Heath and D1softball and NFCA Freshman All-American Mihyia Davis a year ago. The Cajuns have also produced 16 all-region players and 26 other all-conference honorees and had four different Sun Belt Player of the Year award winners in the past five seasons.
Prejean excelled in all aspects of the Cajuns’ softball program during her time, assisting with camps during the fall, winter and summer, yearly athletic scholarships, on- and off-campus recruiting, academics, fundraising and alumni events.
All told, as a member of a collegiate coaching staff, Prejean has been to two Women’s College World Series, three NCAA Super Regionals, nine NCAA Regionals and won six conference championships.
“This opportunity would not be possible without the people at UL that have supported me from the very beginning,” Prejean said. “Thank you to Dr. (Joseph) Savoie (UL President), Dr. Bryan Maggard (UL Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics), Dr. Jessica Leger (UL Deputy Director of Athletics), Coach Glasco and of course the passionate Ragin’ Cajun fans. I was given a wonderful experience at UL and will always be thankful for Louisiana.
“I have already seen that same passion and commitment with the people I’ve met in Natchitoches and excited to get out on the field. I want to thank Dr. Marcus Jones (NSU President) and Kevin Bostian for trusting me to lead this program and believing in my vision to bring a championship to Northwestern State.”
A Carencro High School graduate, Prejean was a four-time All-SEC catcher for Alabama from 2000-03, helping the Crimson Tide to their first WCWS berth in 2000.
That year, Prejean started 60 games for the Tide, hit .254 on the season with four home runs and 21 RBIs on her way to being named SEC Freshman of the Year and the first of her four all-conference honors.
She earned an invitation to try out for the USA National Team following her junior season at Alabama and was named an Easton All-American in her senior year. In 2006 she won a gold medal for the USA in the Women’s Baseball World Cup in Taiwan.
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