STATESBORO — Georgia Southern softball head coach Annie Smith has named Chelsea Leonard to the program’s coaching staff as the new pitching coach.
Last season, Leonard served as pitching coach at Pitt as the Panthers played their first season in the new-look Atlantic Coast Conference. The Panthers notched league wins over Georgia Tech and Boston College, as well as a series sweep over Virginia.
"We are excited to have someone of Chelsea's caliber as an addition to our staff,” said Head Coach Annie Smith. “She brings both her experience pitching at Louisville, but also her time coaching in the ACC to our program.”
Leonard joined Pitt after a successful collegiate career at the University of Louisville. After two injury shortened seasons in 2010 and 2011, Leonard was able to perform at an elite level in the 2012 season, helping to guide the Cardinals to the Big East Tournament title and an NCAA Tournament berth. She recorded an 11-2 overall record and led the NCAA with 12 saves, which stands at third place on the all-time college softball record list.
Leonard led the Cardinals pitching staff in 2012 with 1.30 earned-run average and owns the Louisville record for most strikeouts in a game with 16 (accomplished twice). She surrendered zero home runs in 2012 and opponents batted .194 against her.
Leonard's was named an Academic All-American in 2009 and 2012, along with being an NFCA Scholar Athlete in 2012 and to the Big East All-Academic Team in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
During the 2013 season, she served as a volunteer assistant coach with the Bellarmine University program, focusing on the pitchers and catchers. She helped guide a staff, which returned only one starter from the 2012 campaign, to an ERA of 2.62 and a noteworthy 225-60 strikeout to walk ratio. The Knights finished the season with a 28-26 overall record in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. During that time she also acted as a student assistant coach at Louisville, assisting in scouting reports and mentoring the pitching staff.
Leonard has worked as an instructor at the University of Louisville softball camps and clinics, as well as a private pitching instructor and interning for National Pro Fastpitch in 2012.
A 2012 graduate from Louisville, Leonard earned a degree in health and human performance with a concentration in exercise science.