Sharonda McDonald, who has played and coached in the Women’s College World Series, has been named head softball coach at Campbell University, director of athletics Bob Roller announced Tuesday.
McDonald, a 10-year coaching veteran, comes to Campbell after serving this past season as assistant coach at Ohio State. Prior to her time with the Buckeyes, she was an assistant at Florida, LSU and Texas Tech.
As both a player and a coach, McDonald has been a part of eight NCAA Regionals, three NCAA Super Regionals and two Women’s College World Series. She was also the head coach of the Chicago Bandits of the National Pro Fastpitch League (NPF) in 2017.
“We are extremely pleased that Sharonda will lead our softball program,” Roller said. “For the past month, I have spoken with countless head coaches across the country, and each conversation eventually led to Sharonda. She’s been around championship-caliber teams as both a player and a coach, and we look forward to seeing this transformation with our softball program.”
The Houston, Texas, native was a four-time All-Big 12 selection as a player at Texas A&M from 2004-07. She still holds numerous records with the Aggies for most runs scored and stolen bases, while leading the NCAA in 2005 with 48 steals to earn the Golden Shoe Award.
Her 73 consecutive stolen bases during her tenure at Texas A&M still stands today as an NCAA record, and she led the Aggies to the Women’s College World Series as a senior for the first time in 20 years. She compiled a .338 batting average throughout her four-year career in College Station.
“I am so grateful for this opportunity to join Campbell and the Big South Conference,” McDonald said. “In making this decision, I was so impressed with the overall culture of the university and the leadership of the athletic department. I want to thank Bob Roller and the administration for the faith they have in me to head the softball program.
“I also want to thank my family, who has been a constant support to me. Most importantly, I want to thank God for this incredible blessing. I look forward to getting to campus and going to work with a talented group of athletes.”
Following her graduation from A&M with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology, McDonald immediately began her collegiate coaching career, while also playing professionally for eight years. A three-time all-NPF selection during her professional career, McDonald garnered the prestigious Diamond Spikes Award in 2012 after hitting .303 with 13 stolen bases for the Akron Racers.
McDonald spent the 2009 season playing with the Fiorini Softball Club of the Italian Professional League. She concluded her professional playing career in 2014 by winning the Cowles Cup as a member of the USSSA Florida Pride team based in Orlando.
McDonald made five coaching stops prior to arriving at Ohio State in 2017. During her two years as assistant coach for the University of Florida, she helped guide the Gators to a record of 114-17 and an appearance in the 2017 Women’s College World Series. She was the Gators’ recruiting coordinator, playing a vital role in securing two classes that were ranked in the top-10 nationally.
Along with her reputation as a tireless recruiter, McDonald has specialized in all aspects of running the offense, base runners and slap hitters. This past season, she was part of an Ohio State program that was ranked in the Top-25 throughout the regular season and enjoyed its most wins (36) since 2010. The Buckeyes advanced to the NCAA Regionals in Gainesville, Fla., last month.
As an assistant coach at LSU in 2013 and 2014, McDonald and the nationally-ranked Tigers made back-to-back NCAA Regional appearances. While coaching the outfield, McDonald developed A.J. Andrews into an All-American who was among the SEC and NCAA leaders in hits, batting average and stolen bases.
Following her time at LSU, McDonald was named associate head coach at Texas Tech in 2015, leading the recruiting and offensive coaching duties for the Red Raiders.
McDonald spent three seasons (2010-12) as an assistant coach at Ohio University, helping lead the Bobcats to the 2011 Mid-American Conference East Division championship and the MAC championship game.
She began her coaching career as an assistant coach for Texas Southern University in 2009.
“Sharonda is a top-notch up and coming coach. We are excited to see her lead her own program. She is extremely knowledgeable about the game and has a great recruiting eye. We wish her the best!” — Kelly Kovach Schoenly, Ohio State University, head coach
“I am so happy for Coach McDonald and Campbell University softball. Sharonda is a great hire and so passionate about the game. No matter who you ask, everyone loves Coach Sho!” — Tim Walton, University of Florida, head coach
“I am excited for Sharonda to begin her collegiate head coaching career at Campbell. Sharonda is a person of great character and integrity. She has a real passion for the game and for teaching. She will be a great role model to her players and a tremendous asset to the softball program and Campbell University.” — Jo Evans, Texas A&M, head coach
“This is a tremendous opportunity for both Sharonda and Campbell University. Her work ethic and commitment to excellence will surely bring great success to the program. She has a great passion and energy and any player would be lucky to play and grow under her guidance.” — Beth Torina, LSU, head coach