Bloomington, Ind. -- First-year head softball coach Sara Hayes today announced the hiring of Mickey Dean and Kathy Morton as assistant coaches.
"I am extremely pleased to add two coaches of this caliber to our staff," said Hayes. "Mickey has coached at the Division I level, in the junior college ranks, and was a high school coach in Virginia and he has achieved incredible success at every stop along the way. He has a strong track record of developing quality pitchers. In Kathy, we have a former All-American softball player and professional women's baseball player who will bring great experience and competitiveness to our program.
"Both Mickey and Kathy are accomplished recruiters, which will assist in our attraction of exceptional student-athletes. They both also share my vision and have a strong desire to win championships at Indiana University. Their hiring is a great step for the resurgence of Indiana Softball."
Mickey Dean joins the Indiana softball staff after one season as the top assistant at the University of Akron, where he tutored the Zips' pitching staff, in addition to recruiting and daily administrative duties. As Akron's pitching coach, Dean helped develop senior Lisa Keenan into the 2002 Mid-American Conference Pitcher-of-the-Year. Keenan ranked 19th in the nation in strikeouts per seven innings last spring and compiled a 1.43 earned run average, including a 1.15 ERA in MAC play.
"I am looking forward to working with Coach Hayes and I'm eager to getting Indiana back to the top of the Big Ten and into the national championship picture," said Dean. "It's going to be a good challenge and I look forward to it. I'm also encouraged by the direction that the Athletic Department is moving."
Dean's experience as a head coach has led to nothing but championships. During his last four years as a head coach, his teams won two high school state championships, one Amateur Softball Association (ASA) state championships and one National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) title.
As the head softball coach at Lake City (Fla.) Community College from 2000-01, Dean helped lead the Timberwolves to a 65-5 record and a NJCAA national championship. For his efforts that season, Dean was named the NJCAA Tournament Coach-of-the-Year and his staff earned Mid-Florida Conference Coaching-Staff-of-the-Year honors. Dean took over the reigns of the Lake City program after one season as an assistant coach at the school.
Prior to his highly successful stint at Lake City, Dean was the head softball coach at Orange County (Va.) High School from 1996-99. His final two seasons at the school, he led his squad to back-to-back Class AA state championships. Both seasons, Dean's clubs finished the season ranked in the USA Today's national Top 25. With many of the same players, his Orange County Amateur Softball Association club teams won an 18-and-under state championships in 1998 and Babe Ruth state championship in 1999. His ASA team was state runner-up in 1999.
A member of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association, Dean has earned a reputation as one of the nation's finest clinicians. He has recently been announced as an assistant coach for the Venezuela National Team, which will compete in the Central America Games in December and the World Games in China next summer.
A 1987 graduate of Elon (N.C.) College where he was a member of the baseball team, Dean helped lead the Phoenix to NAIA College World Series appearances in 1985 and 1987. As a senior he compiled an 8-2 record and a 2.1 earned run average and capped his career by pitching in the CWS. He earned a bachelor's degree in public administration from Elon College in 1987. He and his wife, Elizabeth Whiston-Dean, have two children, Isaac (4) and Caroline (2).
Joining Dean on Hayes' staff is Kathy Morton. A two-time first-team All-America selection at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, Morton most recently was an assistant softball coach at the University of Florida during the 2001 and 2002 seasons. While in Gainesville, Morton primarily worked with the Gators' outfielders and hitters and helped the SEC school secure an NCAA Tournament bid in 2001.
"I am excited and fortunate to have the opportunity to work at Indiana and be a part of the great success that lies ahead," said Morton.
A career rightfielder, Morton was a two-time (1994, 1995) first-team All-America selection. She was the Louisiana Coaches' Association Player-of-the-Year in 1995 and its Freshman-of-the-Year in 1991. In addition, she earned All-South Region and All-Louisiana recognition all four seasons. During her career, she helped lead the Cajuns to four NCAA Regional appearances and two College World Series appearances (1993, 1995). In both years that her team played in the "elite eight" College World Series, Morton earned All-Tourney honors for her performance. Morton's had the privilege of being mentored and coached by nationally recognized Louisiana State University head coach Yvette Girard and University of Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy.
Following her collegiate career, Morton spent three years playing professional baseball. In 1996 and 1997, she competed for the Colorado Silver Bullets, the women's baseball team that earned national acclaim for playing against men. The Silver Bullets competed against Single-A minor league, military, and semi-pro teams. During her first season with the Silver Bullets, among her accomplishments she was named the Most Valuable Player of a six-game series against teams from the Taiwan Major League. In 1998, Morton played for the Buffalo Night Hawks, a team in the Women's Professional Baseball League.
Morton graduated from Samford University in 2000 with a degree in Liberal Studies.