Friday, June 12, 2015

Courtney Scott-Deifel Hired as Arkansas Head Coach

Fresh off her inaugural season at the helm of the Maryland Terrapins program, Courtney Scott-Deifel has been announced as the new head coach at Arkansas.

Scott-Deifel (who does not hyphenate her name, but we have done so here for clarity) comes to the Razorbacks after just that one season as the head coach at Maryland. She went 27-27 after returning to the program where she previously served as an assistant. The Terrapins position was her first head-coaching position. Scott-Deifel's coaching career has also included stops at Oklahoma and Louisville.

During Scott-Deifel's single season leading the Terps, the squad went 9-19 against Power 5 opponents, including winning just two Big Ten conference series'. They were ousted from the B1G tournament after just one game, losing to Penn State, a team that they swept during the regular season.

The hire is an interesting one, as the Razorbacks chose to go with a young, still relatively-new face and certainly still something of an unproven head coach. Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long has been known to take gambles on his head coach hirings in the past across his athletic department - see Petrino, Bobby - and this hire certainly does fall into that pattern.

Scott-Deifel takes over a Hogs program that went 16-37 this season, including just one conference win (an extra-innings affair against South Carolina). She'll have to work with an offense that has lost it's top two hitters to graduation, including Devon Wallace who led the squad in home runs; RBI; total bases; walks; runs; hits; and on-base percentage.

A former Cal & professional catcher and a longtime pitching coach, Scott-Deifel will also have to create some magic with the Hogs pitcing staff that posted a combined 5.63 ERA in 2015. Opponents hit .324 against a combination of six pitchers that were used during the year.  Sydney Wright, who led the team in innings pitched with nearly 3x that of her teammates, posted the lowest ERA on the squad, at 4.25.

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