Annie Smith - 2013
Second-year Head Coach Annie Smith enters her sophomore season in charge of the Eagles with high expectations. That’s because in her first season, the Head Eagle earned the program’s first SoCon Championship since 2006, dethroning defending league champion Chattanooga in the process and earning SoCon Coach of the Year honors.
In her first season in Statesboro, Smith’s team finished with a 42-20 overall record and a 22-2 mark in conference play. Pitcher Sarah Purvis earned the Eagles’ third SoCon Pitcher of the Year award in the last four seasons. Purvis along with Marie Fogle earned NFCA All-Region honors following the season while nine different players earned SoCon awards throughout the season. The Eagles set numerous statistical records in the season including fielding percentage, doubles, home runs, strikeouts and overall wins.
Smith’s Eagles confidently closed regular season conference play with four shutouts in the final five games of the year, including a 2-0 win over Furman to clinch the regular season title on the final day of the season.
At the SoCon Tournament, Georgia Southern blew through Samford and Appalachian State, 3-0, 6-0 before taking a 5-2 win over Chattanooga to clinch a berth in the title game. The Eagles dropped the first game of the championship series 3-4, but the Eagles responded for a 6-2 win over Charleston to earn GSU’s first trip to the postseason since 2006.
In the Athens Regional of the NCAA Softball Tournament, the Eagles took No. 22 North Carolina to extra innings, falling on a bases-loaded hit by pitch that drove in the winning run. In the next round, GSU was eliminated by Coastal Carolina as the Chanticleers got revenge for an early-season Eagle win.
Smith joined the Eagles following nine seasons at Mississippi State.
Smith joined Georgia Southern with 15 years of experience as a collegiate assistant coach, serving at Missouri for six seasons before heading to Mississippi State for 9 years, working with head coach Jay Miller at both schools, handling all aspects of the program. In 2006, Smith was promoted to Associate Head Coach.
Under the tutelage of Miller, Smith worked with some of the nation’s best softball players including seven NFCA All-Americans, a two-time SEC Players of the Year, two SEC Freshmen of the Year, 14 All-SEC selections, 31 NFCA All-Region honorees and three USA Softball National Team members. Their student-athletes have succeeded off the field as well, earning 71 NFCA All-America Scholar Athlete selections and a pair of CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic Athletes of the Year. As an assistant coach, Smith reached the postseason 9 times with Mississippi State and Missouri.
In addition to her abilities as a softball coach, Smith is a certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist by the National Strength and Conditioning Association. She is also a board member of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association since 2008, and served as the Assistant Coaches Representative and leader of the Assistant Coaches Caucus.
A player at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa, Smith received her Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Psychology in 1995. While at Missouri, she completed her coursework for a Masters of Education degree in Health and Exercise Sciences with an emphasis in Sports Psychology in 2002.