On July 21 2014, Courtney Scott was hired as the head coach of the Maryland softball program. Scott comes back to Maryland after a four-year stint as an assistant coach at Louisville where she helped the Cardinals achieve a 176-60 record and captured the 2014 American Athletic Conference tournament title.
An assistant in College Park during 2009 and 2010 seasons, Scott returns to lead the Terrapins in their first year in the Big Ten. The California native is enthusiastic about the Terps’ prospects in the new conference and the overall potential of the program.
Recently, not only did you become head coach at Maryland, but you also got married. How exciting have the last few weeks been?
“They’ve been really exciting. My husband and I keep joking about us trying to pack in as many exciting changes as we can in a two-week span. It’s been crazy, but it’s all good stuff so I’m just trying to get settled. Everybody has been extremely helpful and it’s good. We’re ready to hit the ground running.”
How has the transition to Maryland gone so far?
“So far so good. My husband and I got married on August 2, and we literally drove out here and got here on the fifth. Everybody has welcomed me with open arms and have been excited to bring in a new softball coach. They’ve made it as smooth as possible.”
You previously spent two years as an assistant at Maryland, how has that experience helped?
“Just understanding the University; the academics, how to recruit to Maryland and just knowing the area. That can all help the transition. Seeing familiar faces in the soccer staff, wrestling staff and track staff. Those are ready resources that have people ready to help us get as up to speed as possible.”
What is your recruiting philosophy?
“I think the Big Ten is huge. It’s a great conference. It opens up the Midwest to us a little bit more because the landscape of the conference is big. They’ve always done a good job of getting California girls to come out here. We’ll continue to stretch our recruiting boundaries and get the best student-athletes we can get here.”
How much do you enjoy teaching the players?
“I think that’s the best part of the job; the teaching and the relationships you build. This is the most influential time in their lives, really, and you get to be a part of that. Preparing them to be women when they graduate and take on the real world is very rewarding. Not only do you get to teach them on the field, but you also get to teach them important life skills.”
You’ve had successful pitching staffs at every stop. What’s the key to a successful staff?
“Nowadays, a good pitching staff is going to rely on how well rounded it is and how complete it is. Pitching has really changed in the last 5-10 years to where you need to have a staff. You can’t rely on just one arm anymore. We have to find the best way of getting the best out of each individual pitcher, but also to compliment the next pitcher. You have to use their strengths to be effective against other teams. If that means putting four pitchers out there in a game, we are going to do it. We are going to help them be confident in what they do best.”
Many former catchers have become successful coaches in baseball and softball. Is there anything to that?
“As a catcher, you’re another coach on the field. You’re a game manager. A coach can only go out once an inning so a catcher sometimes has to take the reigns on the field and make sure everyone is doing what they’re supposed to be doing. A catcher also has an intimate relationship with the pitcher just making sure they’re fine strategy wise. You work with an individual. On a smaller scale you run that pitching staff, but on a larger scale you’re running the team and you’re an extension of the coaching staff.”
What are your thoughts on Big Ten softball?
“I’m pretty stoked about it. I think it continues to get better. When you look at what Minnesota has done the last three or four years and they’re a top-15 team. It’s really exciting. The coaching community in the Big Ten is one of the best that there is. They’ll go at you on the field, but off the field they’re really embracing and mentoring. They want the sport to push forward and the profession to push forward. I’m excited about that on a personal level. On the field, I think the girls are going to love the competition. It’s good softball. It’s played the right way. It continues to get better and I see big things in the Big Ten. I’m really excited to be apart of it.”
What can Maryland fans expect from your teams?
“They are going to play hard and they are not going to give up. They are going to fight until the end. I want fans to say that they’re gritty and that they hustle. I want them to say that they’re fun to watch and that they play like they love the game. I expect exciting things. It’s a new era of Maryland softball.”
What do you expect from your players this season?
“I think they are just hungry. I expect them to continue to move forward and push Maryland softball forward. They are going to embrace everything we throw at them and they are going to work their butts off like we are as a staff.”
What is your favorite part about Maryland?
“I love that the mascot is Terrapin. I think that’s so unique. I love that Maryland plays up the pride in the colors and the flag. But really, I just love that it’s a turtle.”