DANVILLE, Ky. – Centre College announced Belmont University assistant coach and Mt. Juliet native Ashley Taylor was named its new head softball coach on Tuesday.
A standout player at Austin Peay before moving on to coaching at Belmont, Taylor arrives at Centre College in Danville, Ky. with nine years of coaching and playing experience at the NCAA Division I level.
"I want to thank Brad Fields, Gina Nicoletti and President [John] Roush for the opportunity to be at Centre College," Taylor said. "I am looking forward to working with the student athletes, faculty, staff, and community to make Centre softball the best. I would like to thank my family, friends, and mentors who have helped me make this opportunity possible."
Taylor had been at Belmont since 2009, serving two years as a graduate assistant while earning her master's degree in sports administration before being promoted to a full-time assistant coach in 2011. Taylor's main responsibilities as an assistant have been working with the infielders in addition to helping as a hitting coach.
"We are thrilled to have Ashley join the Centre family as our new head softball coach," said Fields. "After a nationwide search, producing a rich and talented pool, Ashley emerged as the perfect fit to lead our program into the future."
Taylor will be Centre's first full-time head softball coach, taking over for head coach Wendie Austin-Robinson and associate head coach Chris Mason, both of whom had been with the program the previous 12 seasons. Austin-Robinson will continue her role as Centre's women's basketball coach.
"I would be remiss if I did not take a moment to thank Wendie and Chris for their years of hard work, building the program up from the foundation," Fields said. "Now, as Ashley becomes our first ever full-time, stand-alone coach, we are excited to watch this new chapter of Centre softball."
Taylor was a three-year starter during her playing career at Austin Peay and set school freshman records for home runs (10) and runs scored (35) in a season. She also set or tied single season school records for at bats (184) and games started (58).
At Mt. Juliet, Taylor was named to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association All-State team as a shortstop her senior year in 2006.