Arizona softball completed its coaching staff Tuesday with the hiring of former U.S Olympian Lauren Lappin as an assistant coach.
The 36-year-old has been the head coach for National Pro Fastpitch’s Chicago Bandits for two years and an assistant at University of Missouri-St. Louis softball for the last five seasons.
“I could not be more excited to welcome Lauren to the Wildcat Family,” Arizona head coach Caitlin Lowe said in a statement. “Her experience as a player and coach at the highest levels will be a huge asset to our program. She has always impressed me with her ability to make everyone around her better. Her passion and energy for this game is infectious and will no doubt have an immediate impact on our program.”
Lowe said after her introductory press conference that she wanted to hire an assistant coach who could run the infield. Lappin fits the bill. She was an All-American shortstop and catcher at Stanford from 2002 to 2006, as well as a two-time Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year.
Lappin later played for the U.S. Olympic Team in 2008, winning a silver medal at the Beijing Olympics, and professionally in the NPF until 2014.
From there, Lappin started coaching at Roosevelt University in Chicago before moving on to UMSL. All the while, she coached during the summer in NPF and as a facilitator in the new Athletes Unlimited league.
Lappin was the NPF Coach of the Year in 2019 after leading the Bandits to a regular-season championship. That team featured former Arizona pitcher Danielle O’Toole, who said Lappin’s knowledge base is “incredible.”
“ARIZONA SOFTBALL just landed one of the best coaches in the game,” O’Toole said via text. “It has been an absolute pleasure playing for her over the summers with the Bandits and I can’t wait to see what she does with our current and future Wildcats. Fans should expect to see a lot of fire and passion on the field, and a genuine soul off the field. Our program is historic and I can’t wait to watch her elevate it even more working with Cait. Let’s go to work Cats!”
Lappin is originally from Anaheim, California. Her joining Arizona’s staff means all three UA coaches are women under the age of 40 from Southern California. Lowe, a Tustin native, is 36. Pitching coach/assistant Taryne Mowatt-McKinney, from Fountain Valley, is 34.
“I am thrilled at the opportunity to join the Arizona Wildcat softball family and the entire UA community,” Lappin said in a statement. “Caitlin Lowe is one of the best leaders and humans in our sport and I feel incredibly honored to join this amazing staff to carry on the rich tradition of Arizona Softball. I cannot wait to get to Tucson, meet the team, and Bear Down!”
For more on Lappin, check out this recent interview she did with FloSoftball: