OXFORD, Ohio - Miami University head softball coach Clarisa Crowell completed her coaching staff Monday when she announced the hiring of Katie Wagner and Brittany Lastrapes as her new assistant coaches. Wagner comes to the RedHawks from Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, while Lastrapes returns to softball after completing a stellar career at Arizona.
"I am thrilled to have both Katie and Brittany on my staff," said Crowell. "They are both determined and driven individuals and I believe they will help to continue the winning traditions of Miami softball. They will be great representatives of our program and our university."
Wagner spent the past season as an assistant coach at Southern Illinois-Edwardsville. She served as the Cougars' hitting coach in 2012. She also worked defensively with both infielders and outfielders at SIUE. In 2011, Wagner served as an assistant coach at Saint Louis, working with hitters, infielders, outfielders and catchers.
"I am very excited to have the opportunity to be part of a program that focuses heavily on the success of the student-athletes as competitors and citizens within the community," said Wagner. "It's a great feeling to be part of a coaching staff, athletic department and all-around community that truly represents the vision set forth by the athletic administrators and exemplifies 'Love and Honor' on a daily basis. I feel honored to work under the direction of such a knowledgeable and determined coach like Clarisa and look forward in assisting with the growth, development and continued success of this program."
Wagner was a four-year letterwinner at Southern Illinois-Carbondale. She primarily played third base and earned Second-Team All-Missouri Valley Conference honors as a senior in 2009. She also played basketball and track for the Salukis. She earned a bachelor of science in elementary education and was a member of Southern Illinois' Dean's List.
"I am very excited that Katie has decided to join our RedHawk family," said Crowell. "She is an energetic, dedicated and loyal individual. Katie will be a tremendous asset to our program because of her knowledge, work ethic and passion for the game. Katie had a great playing career at Southern Illinois, and I know her experiences as a player and coach will be very beneficial for our program."
This is the first career collegiate coaching position for Lastrapes. She comes to Miami with a strong playing resume, having earned All-America honors as a left fielder all four seasons (including first-team honors in 2009, 2010 and 2011) at Arizona under head coach Mike Candrea. Lastrapes was a member of the United States National Team from 2007-10 and was one of 10 finalists for the Lowe's Senior Class Award in 2011.
"I would first like to thank Miami University for this amazing opportunity," said Lastrapes. "I am extremely excited to be a part of this university and this softball program. Both the school and the program are filled with great people all striving to make the students the best they can be. I look forward to continuing with the success and the growth of this program."
Lastrapes earned a bachelor's degree in political science in 2011, while minoring in sociology. She has spent the past year working as a paralegal in a Tucson attorney's office.
"I am equally as excited to add Brittany Lastrapes to our staff," said Crowell. "Brittany will be a valuable addition to RedHawk softball because of her playing experiences at The University of Arizona, and the USA National Team. Brittany was a fierce competitor and she knows what it takes to be successful at a high level. We are very fortunate to have her on staff because of the wealth of knowledge she brings as a player."
Miami returns to the field Friday when it hosts Cedarville for a doubleheader starting at 5:30 p.m. as part of the fall exhibition season.