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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Bograkos Leaves MSU; Chastain Joins Spartans as Pitching Coach

Though we don't usually cover assistant coaching moves - frequent and fleeting as they are - this one begged attention due to several factors.

Ashley Chastain
Michigan State has announced the addition of pitching coach Ashley Chastain, who comes from the College of Charleston and replaces former longtime pitching coach Jessica Bograkos, who recently "retired from coaching", according to a Spartan press release.

Bograkos had spent a decade on Jacquie Joseph's staff following an all-American playing career as a Spartan and was at the center of a controversy last year when a former player alleged that she was intentionally hit with pitches multiple times in batting practice, at Bograkos' order.

County prosecutors elected not to pursue charges against Bograkos or Joseph, though Michigan State did conduct an internal investigation into the allegations.

Chastain's hiring represents another rung quickly ascended on her climb up the coaching ladder -- after her playing career as a South Carolina Gamecock ended, Chastain served as a graduate assistant at her alma mater and followed that up with a stint at the College of Charleston, where she helped turn the program around with nearly 100 victories in three seasons and a pitching staff that posted multiple school records and all-conference honors.

The Georgia native also has international experience, both as a player and coach, having been named the MVP of the German Softball Federation championship series in 2013 and helping instruct the German National Team the same year as the squad's pitching coach.

Chastain is the second assistant coach to leave College of Charleston for a Power Five position this fall, joining Sam Marder who accepted an assistant coach position at Texas  Tech.

Chastain joins fellow Gamecock alum Kaela Jackson on Joseph's staff at MSU. Despite a 751-751-1 career win-loss record, Joseph will be inducted into the NFCA Hall of Fame this winter in the Pioneer category.

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