By Jayden Presley
The UM Athletic Department named Beth Wade as the head softball coach on Friday, June 11, making her the second head coach in the program’s history. Before joining the Falcons, Wade held the position of assistant coach at the College of Charleston in South Carolina.
“I’m very much looking forward to getting back to Alabama,” said Wade, according to the UM Athletics page. “The softball talent in this region is second to none, and the people are even better. The Gulf South is loaded with talented players and quality coaches, and I’m excited to get to compete against the best in the country.”
Wade said she is ready to “get rolling” on the journey to winning a GSC championship, but not without adding one more member to the team.
Tuesday, Aug. 3 marked the day Wade announced Rachael Reeves as her assistant coach. Reeves spent two seasons with Wade as a fellow assistant coach with the Charleston Cougars. She also worked with Wade for three seasons at Gulf Coast State College.
“As a coach, I feel it is my responsibility to help student athletes reach their potential, not only on the softball field but also in life,” Reeves said on the UM Athletics page. “I love this game and all of its many lessons such as work ethic, commitment, and how to handle success and failure. I am grateful and thrilled for this opportunity to be back in my home state working with our University of Montevallo student athletes.”
Both coaches developed softball experience on the collegiate level before pursuing coaching careers.
Wade played for Florida State University and took part in winning three ACC championships, reaching the Women’s College World Series twice. Reeves played for Samford, starting for four years as both a middle infielder and outfielder and as a team captain her senior season.
Upon meeting Coach Wade and Coach Reeves, two softball players express confidence for the program to be placed in their hands. Sydnee Pawlak, a sophomore from Gluckstadt, Mississippi, said the team and the new coaches have big plans for the season.
“When I first met Coach Wade and Coach Reeves, I automatically got the sense that they were here for us to win,” said Pawlak. “I loved it. It fired me up. I think this will be a great season this year with them. We have big goals and big plans and they have reciprocated that they want the same things as well. We are all very excited to get going and hopefully bring back a conference championship and a national championship.”
The UM softball program began in 2013 but has yet to bring home a championship title. Kaylee Hawkins, a sophomore from Huntsville, Alabama, is optimistic about the upcoming season.
“My first impression of the new coaches was that I was very intrigued. I was very excited to meet them when they were announced as the new coaches,” said Hawkins. “I’m still getting to know them more and more every day. They are very knowledgeable of the game, and there is no doubt in my mind that they will be a great addition to our family and lead us to a championship.”
With the 2022 spring season approaching, Pawlak and Hawkins are eager for championship wins after preparation and team building.
“We want it all,” Pawlak said. “We talked in our very first team meeting this season that we want to win. Our biggest goal is to make it to conference again this spring and win it all, and of course, continue on to regionals in Denver.”
“We most definitely have the talent, players and coaches to do it,” added Hawkins.
For more information, visit the UM athletics softball sports page.
Jayden Presley is the sports editor for The Alabamian. She is a sophomore mass communication major, concentrating in multimedia journalism, and also minors in creative writing. She enjoys writing in her spare time, drawing and playing video games.