Mandy Burford enters her sixth season as the head coach of the Samford softball team. Burford was promoted to head coach in 2012 after serving as an assistant coach in 2011.
Burford, 2016 SoCon Coach of the Year, took the Bulldogs to new heights in 2016 as she led the program to its first ever NCAA Championship Tournament appearance with a trip to the Tuscaloosa Regional and eventually ended the season with a school record 40 wins. Samford recieved the Southern Conference's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament after the team had secured its first ever SoCon Tournament Championship as well as winning the SoCon regular season title with a 15-3 SoCon record.
The Bulldogs also garnered their first ever SoCon Player of the Year and SoCon Pitcher of the Year awards thanks to outstanding play from outfielder Megan Dowdy and pitcher Mollie Hanson. Dowdy went on to become the first Samford softball player to earn a spot on the NFCA All-Region First Team in the South Region, which is arguably the toughest region in the country. Hanson was tabbed All-Region Third Team along with thirdbaseman Callie Brister.
Megan Dowdy enters her first season as assistant coach for the Bulldogs as she joined the program on August 20, 2016 after a successfull playing career at Samord.
Dowdy, started four years in the outfield for the Bulldogs from 2013-2016 and ended her career as one of the most decorated players to have ever come up through the program. The three-time All-SoCon First Team selection holds five career batting titles at the university and will look to translate the success she had during her playing career to her new position as an assistant coach this upcoming season.
The 2016 SoCon Player of the Year will be responsible for assisting with all hitting and offensive strategy for the Bulldogs, specializing in the short game aspect of the sport, and will be tabbed with being the program's recruiting coordinator.
Graduate Assistant Coach