LUBBOCK, Texas -- Texas Tech head softball coach Adrian Gregory announced Friday the completion of her staff for the 2016 season with the hiring of Iyhia McMichael as an assistant coach.
McMichael, a former Mississippi State standout and professional player, will oversee Texas Tech's recruiting efforts as well as the Red Raider outfielders. She will also serve as first base coach and assist with Texas Tech's efforts offensively.
"I am extremely excited to announce Iyhia McMichael as our new assistant coach," Gregory said. "She played this game with an incredible amount of tenacity, heart and discipline. I believe her structure and work ethic is exactly what our young team needs. We are looking forward to an incredible year."
McMichael arrives at Texas Tech after spending the 2015 season as an assistant coach at the University of Ohio where she helped mentor a Bobcats offense that hit .268 overall, its highest average since 2012. McMichael was also instrumental in the development of Sloan Walker, Ohio's leading hitter in 2014, who had not previously hit over .300 in her career before compiling a .336 clip and 11 stolen bases.
McMichael's hiring at Texas Tech marks a return to her native state where she coached seven years at the prep level with stops at Central Heights High School (2010-14) in her hometown of Nacogdoches and Willis Point High School (2007-09).
"I feel so privileged to be part of the Texas Tech softball program," McMichael said. "As soon as I walked on campus and interacted with Adrian Gregory, there was one word that resonated with me and that was `passion.' I'm looking forward to joining her and the rest of the staff in continuing to build a great program at Texas Tech."
McMichael began her coaching career as a graduate assistant at Stephen F. Austin in 2005 before accepting an assistant coaching position at the University of Virginia in 2006. She later spent the 2007 season as an assistant coach at Trinity University in San Antonio.
Throughout the early parts of her coaching career, McMichael also played for the Akron Racers in the National Pro Fastpitch League where she quickly became one of the top outfielders in NPF history. She spent five seasons in the NPF before committing to coaching on a full-time basis.
A two-time NPF All-Star, McMichael was named the NPF Offensive Player of the Year and top rookie in 2004 after winning the annual batting crown with a .349 average. She followed that performance with an impressive .400 average in 2005 that included 11 home runs along with 12 doubles and three triples.
McMichael was the No. 1 selection in the 2004 NPF Senior Draft after a stellar career at Mississippi State where she was a two-time Southeastern Conference Player of the Year honoree (2003-04). She hit over .400 in each of her final two seasons en route to earning first team NFCA All-America honors. In addition, McMichael was also a three-time All-SEC and NSCAA All-Region selection.
McMichael concluded her Mississippi State career among the school's all-time offensive leaders with a .382 average along with 37 home runs, 182 RBI, 50 doubles and 26 triples. She remains in second place all-time at Mississippi State for home runs, triples, RBI, stolen bases (141), slugging percentage (.660) and runs scored (218).
McMichael has one son, Ian, who is four years old. She replaces Sharonda McDonald, who departed the staff earlier this summer to accept an assistant coaching position at the University of Florida.