The Texas Tech Red Raider softball program took a hit about a month ago when an internal university investigation looked into claims of misconduct by former head coach Adrian Gregory. Soon after, Gregory resigned, and the athletic department and Kirby Hocutt went to work on finding the next coach.

As the softball season gets ramped up, the Red Raiders have named Sami Ward as the new leader of the program. Ward, a three-time WCC Coach of the Year, was most recently at Loyola Marymount.

“Coach Ward has built a reputation as one of the top up-and-coming coaches in the country,” Hocutt said in a statement. “We identified her early in our interview process, and we couldn’t be more excited for the future of Red Raider Softball under her leadership. We are thrilled to welcome Coach Ward and her family to Lubbock. We’d also be remiss if we didn’t thank Coach Sam Marder for leading our program during this interim period.”

Loyola Marymount had solid success under Ward, who took them to a National Invitational Softball Championship in 2018 and won 40 games in 2019 on their way to the NISC Championship round. For her efforts, Ward was named the WCC Coach of the Year in 2016, 2018 and 2019.

"I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be the next leader of the Red Raider softball program," Ward said on "We have a great deal of talent already in the club, and I am looking forward to continuing to develop them as well as building for the future. I want to thank Kirby HocuttTony Hernandez, Ginger Kerrick, Grace Hernandez and President Schovanec for the amazing privilege to serve Texas Tech."

Ward started her collegiate softball playing at Loyola Marymount as well where she remains one of the most prolific Lions in school history. She ranks in the top 10 in at-bats, Hits, RBI, doubles, and home runs. She also had a great career as a pitcher in the top 10 at Marymount in wins, complete games, saves, innings pitched, strikeouts, and ERA. Ward was named the Pacific Coast Player of the Year in 2003 and garnered first-team All-WAC the year prior.

A native of Keizer, Oregon, Ward and her husband, Randy, are parents to two daughters, Ryli and Hayli.

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