Over the last week or so, some big names have made headlines on the coaching carousel. A shake-up at Baylor; a former SEC and PAC-12 standout joining an ACC staff; and a couple of former coaches back in the game after some time away highlight this edition of the Assistant Coaching Carousel Update
Annie Aldrete joins North Carolina as volunteer assistant
Former Tennessee and Cal catcher Annie Aldrete has been named the volunteer assistant at North Carolina. Aldrete spent the first two years of her career at Tennessee, where she was named Co-National Fresman of the Year in 2014. She later transferred to Cal for the final two seasons of her career, and led the Golden Bears in home runs as a senior. She spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach at CSU Monterey Bay.
Chrissy Schoonmaker returns to coaching
After a year away from the dirt, veteran coach Schoonmaker is back in the dugout following her hiring as the top assistant at Harvard. Schoonmaker spent five years on staff at UConn and has more than a decade’s worth of experience in the coaching profession. Following her stint at UConn, Schoonmaker returned to South Carolina, her alma mater, where she worked with the Gamecock Club in an administrative role inside the department.
Longwood set to hire Matt Burns as assistant coach
Burns spent the shortened 2020 season as the de facto interim head coach at Bucknell, assuming many of the head coaching duties during Joey Lye’s absence due to Team Canada commitments. After departing the Bison following the end of the season, Burns spent the last several months on the free agent market and now lands at Longwood, where he is the first known addition to the coaching staff for rookie head coach Megan Brown.
Cal Baptist names Cheyenne Smith as volunteer assistant
Smith is expected to work with the outfielders and slappers at Cal Baptist, and joins the program’s staff following a playing career at New Mexico and Bethune-Cookman. During her senior season in 2019, Smith was an All-MEAC Tournament selection and helped lead the Wildcats to back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances in 2018 and ’19.
Belmont adds Bailey Brownfield to coaching staff
Ex-Kent State standout Bailey Brownfield is the final piece of Laura Matthews’ inaugural staff at Belmont. Brownfield graduated from Kent State following the 2019 season and a stellar career that included a pair of all-Region awards and a trio of all-conference selections. She spent last season as a student-assistant with the Golden Flashes, and two years coaching at the travel ball level.
Baylor promotes Newman, adds Johnigan
Following longtime assistant Mark Lumley’s retirement due to health reasons, Baylor wasted little time in filling out the staff. Former Bears baseball assistant coach and broadcast Steve Johnigan is the newest addition to Glenn Moore’s staff. Johnigan spent twenty years on staff with the baseball program at Baylor, and helped lead the team to 13 NCAA tournament appearances and the 2005 College World Series.
Along with the addition of Johnigan to the staff, Moore also promoted longtime assistant Britni Sneed Newman to the title of associate head coach. Newman pitched for Moore at LSU in the early 2000s, then joined his staff at Baylor in 2004. Along with Lumley, the two had made up the 3rd-longest tenured coaching staff in all of Division I softball.
Santa Clara alumnus Russell joins coaching staff
After her playing career ended with the abbreviated 2020 season, Hannah Russell is returning to Santa Clara, but this time in a polo instead of a uniform, as she will be the program’s new volunteer assistant. Russell started 123 out of 126 games in which she appeared, and her career batting average and RBI totals both stand in the top ten in program history. She earned a pair of all-conference first-team honors during her career, and appeared in thirteen games during the shortened 2020 campaign.