HARROGATE, TN - Jessie Hackworth has been named the Assistant Softball Coach at Lincoln Memorial University, Head Coach Natalie Layden announced on Wednesday. Hackworth joins the Lady Railsplitters' staff after spending the 2012-13 year coaching at Roane State in Harriman, Tennessee.
"I am happy to have Coach Hackworth join the staff here at LMU," Layden said. "We have a great rapport and her tireless work will benefit our program tremendously.
"Her passion, along with her energy for the game and with the athletes, is hard to find in an assistant, and she has it, " Layden continued. "She is a great match for what we are looking to accomplish in the upcoming years. When the will to win is strong amongst the coaching staff, good things can happen."
Prior to signing on to join the staff for the LMU softball program, Hackworth made her mark in coaching at Roach State. During her stay with the Lady Raiders, Hackworth had her hands in every aspect of the program, working directly with pitchers and catchers, calling pitches and assisting with the team's hitting and defense. Hackworth made her collegiate coaching debut at Maryville College, where she spent the 2010 and 2011 seasons as an assistant coach.
At LMU, Hackworth will continue to work side-by-side with the team's battery and assist with the various other aspects of the game.
"I am honored to be the new Assistant Softball Coach here at Lincoln Memorial University, and I am excited to be a part of a successful program that has outstanding support," said Hackworth. "I am ready to help contribute to the continued success of the softball program alongside Coach Layden and Coach Batts. I want to thank Coach Layden for this amazing opportunity to join her staff."
A native of Clinton, Tennessee, Hackworth earned her bachelor's degree in Sports and Leisure Mangagement from East Tennessee State in 2009 and added a masters degree in Kinesiology and Sport Studies in 2011.
In 2009, she capped off a stellar four-year run with the ETSU softball program. Hackworth made her debut at ETSU in 2006, compiling 40 hits, five doubles and eight home runs while leading the team in RBIs with 36. She also finished second on the team that season with eight two-baggers. In her second season (2007), Hackworth picked up where she left off, driving home 34 runs with nine doubles and three big flies. In 2008, Hackworth was named to the Atlantic Sun All-Tournament Team as well as the All-Academic Team while finishing the season with 31 RBIs and 13 multi-hit games. In her final season with the Bucs, Jessie drove home 23 runs with five home runs and three doubles.
Before arriving on campus at ETSU, Hackworth starred in three sports (softball, basketball and golf) at Oliver Springs High School. She earned the nod for the All-District Team in all four seasons in both basketball and softball, along with a selection to the TWSA All-State Team following her junior campaign. On the diamond, Hackworth concluded her career with a .400 batting average and set the school record for most home runs as a hitter and most strikeouts as a pitcher.
Hackworth joins a Lady Railsplitters' program that is on a prominent rise following a resurgent season under the direction of Head Coach Natalie Layden. In her first season with LMU in 2013, Layden guided LMU to a 30-22 mark, the first 30-win season for the program since 2008. LMU looks forward to the 2014 campaign with seven letter winners returning from last season's squad, including their top four hitters and their top starting pitcher. The Lady Railsplitters finished among the South Atlantic Conference leaders in runs, home runs, runs batted in, stolen bases, on base percentage and slugging percentage, while upcoming sophomore pitcher Samantha Smith tied for fourth in the SAC with 20 wins on the rubber.
"I am excited to work with a great group of young women who have a passion for the game, and the drive to get better everyday and win," stated Hackworth. "I'm looking forward to growing as a coach under Coach Layden alongside Coach Batts. They have a tremendous knowledge of the game and I'm ready to soak up everything."