HARROGATE, TN -- Natalie Layden has been named the new head softball coach at Lincoln Memorial University, Athletic Director Roger Vannoy announced Wednesday afternoon. Layden will begin her duties immediately in her new position.
Natalie Layden comes to the helm of the Lady Railsplitters' program bolstering vast collegiate coaching experience from a variety of programs steeped in winning traditions.
"Winning seems to follow Coach Layden," commented LMU Athletic Director Roger Vannoy. "In her first seven years of coaching at the collegiate level, she has been a part of three conference championships, two conference tournament championships, three NCAA regional appearances, one regional championship and one college world series appearance, finishing fifth in the country. In addition, she brings a wealth of recruiting connections not only in the southeast but nationwide."
Layden has become familiar with the South Atlantic Conference over the past few seasons as she assumes the head coaching position at Lincoln Memorial University after a three-year stint with Wingate University where she was an assistant coach with the Bulldogs. Along with her duties as the assistant coach, Layden served as the recruiting, hitting and conditioning coordinator. Her responsibilities included the organization and implementation of all aspects of recruiting, establishment of strength and conditioning programs, development of team and individual practices, creation of maximum offensive performance and complete facility management.
During her time with the Bulldogs, Layden was a key component of a highly successful stretch for Wingate University as the team ascended to 10th in the country in the 2010 season, the highest ranking in the history of the program.
For the past three years, Layden has also been working to develop and prepare high school athletes for the rigors of college athletics as the head coach for the Lady Blues 18U Gold Travel Organization in Monroe, North Carolina, ranked as one of the top three teams in North Carolina. That unit is also qualified Gold status from the National Softball Association.
Prior to her work at Wingate University, Layden served for one year as the assistant coach at NCAA Division I Elon University, her alma mater. Layden aided the Phoeneix program on all fronts during her stay in Elon, North Carolina as she crafted conditioning programs, established effective recruiting tactics, monitored academic progress of student-athletes and coordinated with the head coach on all aspects of the team and opponents. At Elon University, Layden recruited the Freshman of the Year, an NFCA All-Region player and two team MVPs.
Before going back to Elon University, Layden stopped two years at Division III Muskingum University in New Concord, Ohio where she served as the assistant varsity coach and the head junior varsity coach from 2006 to 2008. During her stay with the Muskies, Layden helped lead MU to two conference championships, two regional appearances and one World Series appearance that included the development of eight All-Americans, six All-Conference performers, one Player of the Year and one Freshman of the Year.
Along with her coaching experience, Layden worked with the National Professional Fastpitch Association in Akron, Ohio as an equipment manager and an assistant to the coaching staff during the summer of 2006. Layden's duties included field maintainence, charting pitches and management of all equipment.
Layden began her collegiate coaching career at Queens University of Charlotte where she served a season as the assistant coach and pitching coach for the Royals. During that season, Layden was a part of the first Conference Carolinas regular season and tournament championships in school history. Layden held a variety of responsibilites at Queens University including controlling all aspects of pitching and catching, designation of practice plans, organization of game days and working with corner and middle infielders.
Natalie Layden received a Master of Arts in Education degree with a concentration on adult education from Muskingum in 2008. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education with a minor in exercise sport science and health education from Elon University in 2005.
"I would first like to thank Mr. Vannoy and the search committee for their time and effort in making me the head softball coach at LMU," said Natalie Layden. "The vision of the athletic department, both athletically and academically fit my philosophy as a coach. I am excited to get started with the team and my new family here at LMU."
She will hit the road immediately upon her arrival on campus as the Lady Railsplitters will advance into the first year of the Natalie Laydon era in Lincoln Memorial University softball.