Extra Inning Softball is reporting that Arizona softball has lured away an SEC coach for the fourth spot on its coaching staff. Josh Bloomer, who is the current hitting coach at South Carolina, will apparently join Caitlin Lowe’s staff. With the addition of Christian Conrad as the pitching coach, it will complete the Wildcats’ coaching staff for the 2023-24 season.
Bloomer helped the Gamecocks to a 40-22 record this season, including a 9-15 record in SEC play. The team advanced to the championship game of the SEC Tournament before falling to Tennessee 3-1.
The Gamecocks were part of the Tallahassee Regional along with UCF, Marist and the host Florida State Seminoles. They went 3-2 in regionals, including an upset win over the national runners-up from FSU.
Prior to going to Columbia, Bloomer was in charge of the offense at Duke from 2020 through 2022. In his three seasons with the Blue Devils, the team went 111-27. They earned their first national ranking, made their first NCAA Tournament appearance, won their first ACC Championship, and advanced to Super Regionals for the first time in program history.
Bloomer was part of the 2021 and 2022 NFCA Regional Coaching Staffs of the Year while at Duke. Two Blue Devils earned NFCA All-American honors, becoming the first to do so in Duke history.
In his final season with Duke, the Blue Devils hit .330, had a .417 on-base percentage, and slugged for a .610 percentage. They had 467 hits, including 89 doubles and 97 home runs. They scored 394 runs, 374 of which were the result of RBIs. They earned 863 total bases and 169 walks. They also stole 89 bases. All were records for the program.
Last season at South Carolina was not quite as successful as his time in Durham. There were slight improvements in many of the Gamecocks’ offensive counting stats, but the team played six more games than the season before. Their 40-22 record was a dramatic improvement from the 26-30 record they ended with in 2022.
Bloomer is expected to work with the Arizona offense.
Arizona has not announced the hire yet.