Back in June, Longwood’s long-time softball coach, Kathy Riley, announced her retirement. Soon after, the search began for her replacement. After an extensive search, it was announced two weeks ago that Dr. Megan Brown would become the next head softball coach at Longwood University. Brown was a former assistant coach at big-time schools Boston College, the University of California and Auburn, as well as an All-American during her playing days at Florida Southern. Over the course of her career, Brown worked under esteemed softball coaches Diane Ninemire at Cal and Tina Deese at Auburn.
As someone who has been around softball legends, Brown spoke on her replacement of Riley. “It’s a very unique opportunity as a head coach to walk into a team that is so committed to success, is so committed to putting in the time and the work. Those are pieces that are foundational for every successful team. The foundation has been laid beautifully here at Longwood.”
Brown said that she wanted to establish a culture of being active in the community and leading by example during the time of COVID-19 as well as a culture of being respectful to those around them. “We want to exert maximum effort in everything we do, whether it’s socially, on campus, in the weight room, in practice and in games.”
Brown also discussed her decision to leave the bigger schools for a smaller scene like Longwood. “I played at a school smaller than Longwood as an athlete. There’s something to be said about the intimacy within a department. It’s great that you can go down the hall and grab somebody if you need something instead of having to run across campus. It’s hard to maintain the relationships, camaraderie and unity within a department at a bigger school.”
Brown said that she would like the fans to know that she has tremendous respect for the program and the hard work that it took to get it where it is and that she feels the team has been entrusted to her by the university and community as a whole.
The one who ultimately made the decision to hire Brown, Athletic Director Michelle Meadows, spoke on what lead to her decision. “From outset of the search, it was really important for me to identify an individual that embodies the values and the principles that this program has been built upon over the last two and a half decades. I also wanted someone who was a fierce competitor and had a passion for empowering young women. Throughout the entire search process, Megan demonstrated all of these things time and time again.”
Meadows added that Brown brings to the table a passion for being an educator and for developing young women, as well as an incredible knowledge of the game and an ability to teach it.
Considering the status of Brown’s predecessor, Meadows wanted to get this hire right and laid out her expectations. “I want us to continue on the path that our softball program has been on for these last two decades and continue to achieve on the field and in the classroom. I want for our student-athletes to be able to grow and mature in their experience and leave Longwood with the confidence that they are ready to embrace all that life has to offer.”