Cumberland director of athletics Ron Pavan has named Stephanie Theall the next head coach of the Phoenix softball program after the announcement of Heather Stanfill’s resignation at the end of the season.
“I am excited about Stephanie Theall becoming our new head softball coach on June 1, 2021,” Pavan said. “She has been the assistant coach for the past eight years, a graduate assistant coach, student assistant coach, and an excellent player for Cumberland University. It is great to promote from within the program.”
Theall will become the first former Cumberland player or CU graduate to serve as head coach of the softball program, which began play in 1986.
Former all-conference infielder Theall (formerly Gutierrez) joined the Cumberland staff as a full-time assistant in January 2016. This marks her ninth year as an assistant coach at her alma mater. She has spent ten of the last 11 years at Cumberland as either a student-athlete or coach.
The Orlando, Fla., native spent a year-and-a-half on the staff at Centre College in Danville, Ky., with the Colonels compiling a 14-18 record in 2015. She coached one second team and one third team all-conference player as well as an honorable mention all-conference performer while at Centre.
Theall served as a student assistant at CU during the 2012 season after finishing her playing career and was a graduate assistant for the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Cumberland posted a 37-22 mark in 2013, advancing to the NAIA Championship Opening Round for the first time in program history.
In her three seasons on the Cumberland staff previously, Gutierrez worked with eight first team and five second team all-conference selections as well as second team All-American Jessica Roper. Student-athletes earned nine player of the week and seven pitcher of the week accolades. Twenty-five players garnered conference scholar-athlete awards and eight were named NAIA scholar-athletes.
Theall batted .278 in 157 contests during a four-year career at Cumberland with 13 doubles, four home runs and 45 RBIs. She saved her best for last, batting .315 with seven doubles, four homers, and 20 RBIs in 57 games as a senior, collecting 11 multi-hit and four multi-RBI games while also scoring 21 runs.
She appeared in 39 outings as a sophomore during Stanfill’s first season at CU, including 11 contests in the circle, compiling a pair of victories in 59 innings of work. Gutierrez also batted .269 that season, earning second team All-TranSouth Conference honors. She drove in 16 runs in 50 games as a junior.
“I know I have some big shoes to fill following Coach Stanfill but I am up for the challenge,” Theall said. “I am excited to continue all of our traditions and to see where our next path leads.”
Gutierrez earned a bachelor’s in sports management from Cumberland in 2012 and a master’s in sport and exercise pedagogy at CU in 2014. She married former Cumberland football player Grant Theall in January 2016.