DETROIT -- University of Detroit Mercy Associate Vice President & Athletic Director Keri Gaither has announced the hiring of Liz Young as the head coach of the Titans softball program. Young will begin her assignment immediately hitting the road to recruit for the red, white and blue.
“I am excited to announce Liz Young as our new Titan Softball Coach,” said Gaither. “Coach Young brings a wealth of experience from her college and pro playing days as well as coaching stints at the Division I level.”
“I would like to thank Keri Gaither, Steve Corder and the University of Detroit Mercy for giving me this great opportunity,” said Young. “I am excited to be here. This is my passion and this is what I want to be a part of. I want to be part of a good program and after talking to some of the players, I believe that this is the best situation possible because we have a group of student-athletes that just want to win and do everything possible to do that.”
Young has spent the last two years on the staff at Western Illinois, serving as interim head coach for much of last season, while assisting in recruiting and all facets of the program. She was the team's hitting instructor and worked closely with the infielders and catchers during the 2012 season, and with the outfielders in 2011. She was also the staff representative for WIU at the 2011 NCAA Leadership Forum.
The Leathernecks were 22-20, including 12-3 in the Summit League, during her stint as acting head coach this past year. WIU also posted a 10-game winning streak during that stretch, its longest since 2000.
“I am extremely excited about Liz Young taking over the Detroit Softball Program,” said Assistant Athletic Director & Softball Hiring Committee Chair Steve Corder. “We are confident that coach Young will provide not only the experience and knowledge, but the passion and pride needed to make our softball program succeed.”
During her time at Western Illinois, she coached six All-League players, one CoSIDA Academic All-Region performer and had 10 players finish in the top 100 in the nation in a number of offensive categories. Just this past year, the Leathernecks had a student-athlete set the Summit League record for stolen bases in a season (45) and led the nation with 1.18 steals per game, while another player set the program's single-season RBI record with 47 in 2011 and ended her career with 153 RBI, tied for first in school history and the second-most in Summit League annals. As a team, the Leathernecks also worked 131 walks in 2012, fourth in program history.
“Growing up, people asked me if I wanted to play in the Olympics and I said no, I want to coach in the Olympics. I love being a part of the leadership side of things and influencing change and helping guide young women to be successful professionals, not only on the field, but in life”, added Young.
In 2011, Young helped coach the Leathernecks to a few impressive offensive outputs as the team posted the third most single-season runs (248) and finished with the second best single-season RBI mark (223). The team also recorded a school record .461 slugging percentage. Under her guidance, the Leathernecks led The Summit League in batting (.293), while scoring the most runs in the league. Young also saw one of her players lead the conference and finish 76th in the nation with a .400 batting average. As a team, the Leathernecks finished the regular season ranked 63rd in team batting average and ninth in doubles per game (1.63).
“I'd like to acknowledge the tremendous job Assistant Athletic Director Steve Corder and the search committee did in identifying several excellent candidates. However, it was clear that coach Young is not only highly qualified, she is a great fit. We are looking forward to Coach Young strengthening the Titan softball program and contending for HL Championships, while mentoring and coaching our outstanding student-athletes,” added Gaither.
Before arriving at WIU, Young honed her coaching skills at both the collegiate and high school level. She was the head coach at Nordonia High School in Macedonia, Ohio, in 2010 and also spent time at Ohio University as a volunteer assistant coach.
Prior to that, she was a volunteer assistant coach at her alma mater, the University of New Mexico, from 2007-09 where she was responsible for developing practice plans, coaching the outfielders and assisting with the day-to-day operations. She assisted in all on-field fundamental development, with special attention to outfielders, short game and base running, and was the student-athlete mentor for academic support services.
Young played catcher for the Lobos from 2005-06 and was a two-time Academic All-Mountain West. She was a two-year starter behind the plate for New Mexico and never missed a game, starting all 104 contests before an injury ended her collegiate career. A defensive standout, she ranks second in UNM history with 28 caught-stealings, including a single-season record of 20 as a junior. Prior to that, she played for Kent State for one season before transferring.
Off the field, she served as the President of New Mexico's Student Athlete Advisory Council and was the chair of the Mountain West SAAC while she was a student. She was also a softball instructor and strength and agility coach for the Albuquerque Baseball Academy (February 2007-December 2008) where she helped athletes develop and refine their skills, while also developing strength and conditioning workouts for both men's baseball and women's softball teams.
In addition to her collegiate playing career, Young also played professionally for the Akron Racers of the National Pro Fastpitch League during the 2010 season.
Keeping her career-long dream in the game of softball, Young was the publicity manager/camp instructor for the Got Bustos? softball camps, an instructional camp run by two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and former Team USA member Crystl Bustos, from February 2009-March 2010. During her time with the camp, Young was responsible for managing all schedules, contracts and budget aspects of the camp as well as providing instruction in all areas of the game.
She graduated from the University of New Mexico in 2009 as a double-major in American Sign Language Interpreting and Intercultural Communications. The Las Vegas, Nevada, native was highly active in community service projects and logged over 200 hours as a sign language interpreter during her time at UNM.
(Release courtesy DetroitTitans.com)
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