Sun Belt Co-Coach of the Year Beth Mullins begins her second season as Troy’s softball head coach. In 2015, she led the Trojans to a 32-23 record, including a 14-9 Sun Belt record and a fourth place finish in the conference. She is the first coach in program history to defeat top-10 teams in back-to-back games and has led the Trojans to the most wins over the past five seasons, including victories over three top-25 opponents.
In just one season under Mullins, Troy jumped three spots from seventh to fourth in the final Sun Belt standings. The Trojans’ batting average improved from .215 to .260, and they scored 70 more runs, had 70 more hits, 100 more RBIs, 38 more doubles, and launched 21 more home runs while playing just one more game than they did in 2014.
Mullins finished her third season as an assistant coach at Mississippi State before coming to Troy in 2015 and has previous coaching stops at Western Kentucky, UAB and Georgia Southern following an all-conference playing career at UAB.
Mullins inherited a newly renovated Troy Softball Complex that underwent a $3 million renovation prior to the 2014 season. The field was lowered to improve sight lines and the outfield was replaced with artificial grass. The press box was also updated to include offices, a media area with press box and an expanded concessions area, as well as new official locker rooms.
Also in the renovation was the construction of the Dodds Center, a state-of-the-art hitting facility. The 8,000 square-foot facility houses a player locker room, player lounge, athletic training room and hitting and pitching areas.
Alex Hupp begins her first season as the pitching coach for the Trojans. Hupp joins the Troy staff following one season as the top assistant at East Tennessee State and a two-year stint at South Dakota State. A native of Olathe, Kan., Hupp served as the interim head coach at South Dakota State for the 2014 season after one year as an assistant for the Jackrabbits.
Prior to her tenure at South Dakota State, Hupp had two successful seasons as an assistant coach at Emporia State. She helped lead the Hornets to a combined 84-27 record over her two seasons with back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Division II Regionals, including an appearance in the NCAA Division II South Central Regional final in 2012.
Hupp enjoyed a standout career at Nebraska, where she saw time in the circle and in the field, as she amassed 58 total pitching appearances and 239 career at-bats. In her first career start in the circle, Hupp threw a shutout versus Portland State to become the first Husker to throw a shutout in her first start since All-American Peaches James in 2001.
Taylor Smartt begins her first season as an assistant coach, following a year as the Trojans’ volunteer assistant.
Smartt, who played four years at Troy, started 191 games over her four seasons at Troy and finished her career with 21 doubles, five triples, three home runs and 40 RBIs.
She was named to the NFCA All-Region Team following her freshman season when she hit .277 with eight doubles, a triple, a home run, 17 RBIs and 23 runs scored.
Director of Operations
Kristy Lawrence begins her fifth season as a member of the Troy softball staff as the program’s director of operations. Born in Sydney, Australia, Lawrence played three seasons for NSW and won an Australian National Championship.
She also played for Australian 16-and-under National Team during her playing career. Lawrence began her collegiate career at Western Texas College in Snyder, Texas. In her two seasons, Lawrence helped Western Texas to a regional championship and an appearance in the Junior College World Series. She was named all-conference honorable mention in 2006 and 2007.
She transfered to Samford in 2008 where she played two seasons for the Bulldogs as a first baseman and outfielder. As a senior, Lawrence had a breakout season as she posted a batting average above .300 for the first time in her career.
Volunteer Assistant Coach
Former Troy pitcher Jaycee Affeldt begins her first season as the volunteer assistant coach on the Troy staff after a four-year playing career with the Trojans.
Affeldt is coming off a brilliant senior season where she was named Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Year and to the All-Sun Belt First Team. Additionally, she was named to the Capital One Academic All-District First Team and the NFCA South All-Region Third Team.
“I’m so thankful to be given the opportunity to be the volunteer assistant at my alma mater and the place where I had some of the best memories of my life,” Affeldt said. “It will be an invaluable experience to learn the game from such a knowledgeable coaching staff, and I look forward to being able to help the program and the players continue to grow on the field and in the Troy community.”