OXFORD, Ohio - Miami University Athletic Director Brad Bates announced the hiring of Clarisa Crowell as the new head softball coach on Wednesday. Crowell comes to the RedHawks from Oklahoma State, where she has spent the past six seasons as an assistant coach, helping lead the Cowgirls to the College World Series in 2011.
"I would like to thank Brad Bates and Keanah Smith for the opportunity to become the next head softball coach at Miami University," said Crowell. "I firmly believe in the mission and the vision set forth by the leaders of our athletic department.
"I am excited to be a part of a university who takes a tremendous amount of pride in developing champions both on the field and in the classroom. It is my intention to continue to build on Miami's success, and to take the program to the next level."
While at Oklahoma State, Crowell worked primarily with the pitchers and catchers. In the season prior to her arrival, the Cowgirls had a team ERA of 3.92. Under Crowell's tutelage, the team consistently lowered the team ERA, culminating with a 2.11 ERA and .201 opponents' batting average in 2011. Her pitchers and catchers have received several awards. In 2010 she had both of her pitchers, senior Anna Whiddon and freshman Kat Espinosa, earn spots on both the All-Big 12 and All-Midwest Region teams. She also coached two All-Big 12 catchers during her tenure.
In 2011, Oklahoma State returned to the College World Series for the first time since 1998. Crowell's pitching staff had a lot to do with the resurgence, as she helped the now-sophomore Espinosa to a 23-10 record with a 2.20 ERA. Realizing the staff needed depth to make the run, she helped sophomore Simone Freeman to a 9-8 record and a 2.53 ERA in 22 starts during the season.
"We are very excited to have Clarisa Crowell as the new leader of the Miami softball program," said Bates. "Her tremendous pedigree, education, experience and intellect will ensure our program serves as a model for the sport of softball, our department and our conference by maximizing the development of our students. She is an exceptional recruiter, a tremendously successful coach, a fantastic leader and an even better person who will make a substantial contribution to our students, staff, alumni and community."
Prior to her time at Oklahoma State, Crowell spent one season as an assistant coach at Syracuse. She also was an assistant coach at Miami's Mid-American Conference rival Ohio for two seasons.
Crowell is a 2002 graduate of Virginia Tech, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology. She was a four-year letterwinner for the Hokies, where she was a pitcher, third baseman and outfielder. As a senior in 2002, she earned First-Team All-Region and Second-Team All-Big East honors as a third baseman. Crowell earned her master's degree in recreation and sports sciences from Ohio in 2005.
"We're very happy to have Clarisa join our staff," said Associate Athletic Director and softball administrator Keanah Smith said. "I am enthusiastic about the wealth of knowledge, energy and dedication she brings to Miami Softball."
What they are saying about Clarisa Crowell
"Clarisa is going to be a great head coach. Her work ethic is outstanding - there's not anybody that is going to outwork her. Her ability to coach the game is outstanding, and her being a former athlete will help with communication and enable her to have a lot of success."
-- Oklahoma State Head Coach Rich Wieligman
"Miami University has gotten one of the top rising coaches in our game. As a player, Clarisa was a fierce and talented competitor and will coach and excel at Miami with the same level of success. I am extremely proud of her and wish her the absolute best!"
-- Virginia Tech Head Coach Scot Thomas