FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Arkansas vice chancellor and director of athletics Jeff Long announced on Thursday the hiring of Courtney Scott Deifel as head coach of Arkansas. Scott Deifel, who led Maryland to a 16-game improvement in her first season as a head coach in 2015, becomes the fourth head coach in Arkansas’ program history.
“We are pleased to announce Courtney Scott Deifel as our head coach and welcome her to the University of Arkansas family,” Long said. “Courtney’s coaching pedigree, her success as a student-athlete and her ability to transform and cultivate a winning culture as a head coach are qualities we are looking to instill in our program. She’s a proven winner and competitor and that was on full display last year during her team’s remarkable turnaround. I was extremely impressed with her competitiveness and desire to lead our program against the best softball programs in the country. Courtney is a rising star and we are happy to have her leading the Arkansas softball program.”
During her playing and coaching careers, Scott Deifel has advanced to 11 NCAA tournaments including a four-year run to the Women’s College World Series (WCWS) as an All-American catcher at California that was highlighted by winning the 2002 national title. The Bears also finished second (2003), fifth (2001) and seventh (2000) at the WCWS over her four-year run. Her postseason successes also feature a pair of Super Regionals as a graduate assistant at Oklahoma and five NCAA regionals as an assistant at Maryland and Louisville.
As a first-year head coach, Scott Deifel ushered in a culture of change for Maryland in 2015. Along with the program’s 16-game improvement from the previous season, the Terrapins’ offense showed tremendous growth. Maryland finished 27th in the NCAA with 6.28 runs per game behind 339 runs scored, up more than 150 runs from 2014. Scott Deifel also led her team to a .309 batting average, a 40-point jump from 2014 which also ranked 57th in the NCAA.
Individually, Scott Deifel guided three players to all-conference accolades and a pair of NFCA all-region honors. Lindsey Schmeister was an All-Big Ten first-team performer while Shannon Bustillos and Erin Pronobis landed on the All-Big Ten second team. Probonis and Corey Schwartz were also named to the NFCA All-Midwest Region Third Team. Under Scott Deifel’s watch, the trio helped Maryland to single-season school records in doubles, home runs, RBI and walks.
Prior to taking the head job at Maryland, Scott Deifel spent four seasons as an assistant coach at Louisville in which she helped the Cardinals to four NCAA appearances, the 2014 American Athletic Conference tournament title and an overall record of 176-60 (.746). Louisville averaged 44 wins in that time with a program-record 55 wins in 2012. Her student-athletes at Louisville racked up four NFCA All-America certificates and 29 all-conference selections.
Scott Deifel played in 285 games in her career at California, missing just three games behind the plate in her four years. As a four-year starter, she was a 2003 all-American, two-time all-Pac 10 selection and caught seven no-hitters. Scott is still the program’s career leader with 1,969 putouts.