So. Arkansas names former North Ala. coach Jason Anderson head coach
MAGNOLIA, Ark. – Jason Anderson has been named as the sixth head coach in Southern Arkansas softball history. The appointment was announced by SAU Director of Athletics Steve Browning on Wednesday afternoon.
A formal public introduction of Anderson will be held on Monday, July 21 at 11 a.m. at Chicken Express in Magnolia. The public is encouraged to attend and meet Anderson.
“We are excited to be able to hire a coach of Jason’s caliber,” remarked Browning. “His coaching record shows that he is one of the best coaches in this region and his knowledge of the game, his tireless work ethic, and strong recruiting abilities will allow him to take our surging softball program to a whole new level.”
“Jason and his wife, Renee, along with their children Addison and Kyler, will be a great addition not only to the Mulerider family, but to the Magnolia community as well,” added Browning.
Anderson, a native of Sheridan, Ark., takes over a Lady Mulerider softball program that is coming off of a record-shattering season in which they captured their first conference championship en route to advancing to a NCAA regional tournament; also a program first.
"I am very excited to become a part of the Mulerider family and lead the softball program,” exclaimed Anderson. “I want to thank Dr. Rankin and coach Browning for giving me the opportunity to take the SAU softball program to the next level.”
“I know we have a great group of players already in place and I am anxious to get started,” added Anderson. “The expectation of the softball program at SAU moving forward will be to have it sustained as a fixture atop of the GAC as well as a national contender."
A proven winner in his seven previous seasons as a head coach, Anderson comes to SAU with an outstanding career coaching record of 307-73 (.807). The first 226 of those career wins came in a five-year stretch for Anderson as he began his collegiate coaching career at Central Baptist College (Conway, Ark.) in 2008.
In those five seasons at CBC, Anderson amassed an impressive overall record of 226-38 (.856) and guided the Mustangs to a berth in the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) National Tournament in each of his first three seasons.
A five-time NCCAA Regional Coach of the Year, Anderson’s 2010 CBC team went 52-1 (.981) en route to a NCCAA championship.
In the two seasons following the 2010 national championship, Anderson’s Mustangs would win 50-plus games twice as they advanced to the NAIA tournament in 2011 and '12. In each of those seasons, the Mustangs would end the season nationally ranked in the top-five.
Following the 2012 season, Anderson left CBC and moved to the coaching ranks of NCAA Division II as he became the head coach at North Alabama. In his lone season at UNA, Anderson led North Alabama to one of the best seasons in school history. That year, the Lions put together a 40-20 record and were ranked as high as No. 10 nationally in the NFCA poll.
Anderson’s UNA team in 2013 would set new single-season school records for wins (40), hits (572), RBIs (330), doubles (108), team batting average (.338) and games played (60), while qualifying for only the second NCAA Regional in UNA history.
A total of five players were named to the All-Gulf South Conference team at the end of the year, three of which also landed on the All-South Region squad.
After that one year at North Alabama, Anderson moved to the coaching ranks in the Great American Conference as he was named head coach at Northwestern Oklahoma State.
While at NWOSU, Anderson would take a team that had not had a winning season since 2008 and turn them into a 41-15 club. Picked to finish ninth in the preseason GAC coaches’ poll, Anderson would have his team end up second in the GAC regular season standings after his Rangers’ club finished in a tie in the loss column, but one game back in the win column to regular season champs, Southeastern Oklahoma.
Statistically, Anderson’s 2014 Rangers would set numerous records including the school record for wins (41) and winning percentage (.732). Offensively, his team would set new school single-season marks in batting average (.325), slugging percentage (.535), runs scored (351), hits (516), doubles (92), homeruns (79), RBIs (322), total bases (853), and walks (174).
Along with the team records set, Anderson would coach four players who would go on to set or tie 12 single-season individual records.