By Russell Hood The Webster Progress-Times
Vann Stuedeman says she is honored and humbled to be the head softball coach at Mississippi State University.
Calling it her destiny to be at MSU, the winningest first-year head coach in school history shared the passion for her job with the Eupora Rotary Club on July 24, “I feel like I got this job to help MSU do what I did in Alabama,” she told Rotarians.
Stuedeman joined the Bulldogs last summer after serving 11 seasons as the pitching coach at the University of Alabama, where she helped the Crimson Tide claim three Southeastern Conference regular-season titles en route to reaching the Women’s College World Series six times.
In her first season with the Bulldogs, MSU finished 33-24 and 12-16 in Southeastern Conference play, and returned to postseason play for the first time since 2009.
Besides building the sport and giving young girls the opportunity to play college softball, Stuedeman said her ultimate goal is to help her players learn life skills so they will be successful later. “I want to put out good citizens,” said the Vestavia Hills, Ala., native, who is a 1994 All-American.
Additionally, Stuedeman said she is community oriented and wants to see everyone embrace fast-pitch softball. Her team plans to continue playing exhibition games and giving clinics at high schools.
“One of my main goals is to get out and meet the people,” Stuedeman said. “It proved to be great.”
Following completion of the 2013 season, a new stadium will be built around the current MSU softball field. MSU will host the 2014 SEC Softball Tournament, with every game being televised live on the ESPN network.