Stephens joins Lady Demons’ softball staff as assistant coach

Northwestern State head softball coach Donald Pickett announced on Wednesday the addition of Mary Stephens to the Lady Demon coaching staff.

Stephens comes to NSU after spending the 2022 season with Wichita State. Prior to her time in Wichita, Stephens had stops at Sam Houston and Texas Tech, where she began her coaching career as a graduate manager for the Red Raiders while earning her master’s in sports management.

“Mary is very experienced and coached at a couple of different Division I programs and been very involved in coaching travel ball in the Dallas area where she’s from,” Pickett said. “She’s going to be able to help us offensively and her ties to the Dallas area will help us in terms of recruiting in that Dallas and East Texas area.”

From Sachse, Texas, Stephens was an All-Missouri Valley Conference player at Missouri State where she batted .281 in her four-year career with 19 home runs and 103 RBI. During her sophomore season she became the first MSU player in school history to record five hits in a game, doing so twice in 10 days, and drew 32 walks on the season, the third-highest total in program history.

She graduated from MSU in 2017 with a degree in parks, recreation and sports administration.

After her playing days, Stephens started her coaching career as a graduate manager at Texas Tech for one season before becoming a volunteer assistant prior to the 2019 season, where she was part of the staff that saw the Red Raiders earn a Baton Rouge Regional Final berth.

Stephens returned to the NCAA regionals a season ago with Wichita State as part of the staff that helped cultivate one of the most prolific offenses in the country in 2022.

The Shockers finished in the top five in the NCAA in batting average (.358), on-base percentage (.437), runs per game (7.98), slugging (.667) and home runs per game (2.33) in route to 33-16 record and at-large bid to the Fayetteville Regional.

During the off season, Stephens has been deeply involved in the travel ball circuit for nearly 10 years. She helped coach the Texas Glory 16u Naudin team based out of McKinney, Texas, where assisted in advanced player development, host tournaments and helped high-level players progress in their careers to the collegiate level.

“It was really important for us to get the right person,” Pickett said. “I’ve known Mary for a long time and she’s a great person. She’s going to bring a good energy to our team and going to fit in really well with (Coach) Lexi (Smith) and I. We’re going to have great chemistry and looking forward to seeing where it takes us next year.”