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Peel named new head softball coach at Hampton

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July 12, 2010

HAMPTON, Va. – Hampton University has announced the hiring of former college star and current professional player Trena Peel as the fourth head coach in the history of the Lady Pirates’ softball program. She replaces Regina Gibbons, who served as the head coach for the past three seasons.

“Coach Peel brings a wealth of experience, as a player and coach, to our softball program here at Hampton University,” said athletics director Lonza Hardy Jr. “She’s been a winner on all levels of the game and I’m confident that her knowledge of the game and her commitment to the welfare of student-athletes will make our softball program one of the best in the nation.”

Peel, a native of Aurora, Colo. and a graduate of Louisiana State University, comes to Hampton after serving the past two seasons as the assistant coach at Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) softball powerhouse Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena, Miss. During her time at MVSU, the Devilettes compiled a 65-39 overall record and a 30-3 mark in conference play while also making it to the NCAA tournament her first season, when the team went 17-0 in league play. Peel’s primary responsibility was coaching the pitchers and infielders.

Prior to her time at MVSU, Peel served as an assistant coach at the University of Maryland from 2006-08. There, she worked with the pitchers and assisted with the outfield. She also coordinated team travel and game-day preparation for the team. During the 2004 season, she coached at George Washington University, where she instructed outfielders, pitchers and first basemen while concentrating on hitting instruction. She also served as the recruiting coordinator, academic contact and conditioning coach at GWU.

A 2003 graduate of LSU with a Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology, Peel has enjoyed a professional career that has included stints with the Akron Racers (2004), New York Juggernauts (2005), Chicago Bandits (2006) and Philadelphia Force (2007). She currently plays for the Akron Racers.

Peel played at LSU from 1999-2002, where she earned National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) second-team All-America accolades and was a semi-finalist for USA softball collegiate player-of-the-year as a senior. She was named SEC athlete-of-the-year in 2002 and was also a three-time All-SEC honoree and was selected twice to the All-South regional team. Peel was a 2001 NCAA Region 3 all-tournament team member and a 2002 SEC all-tournament team selection.

As a LSU Tiger, Peel tallied a .323 batting average with 269 hits, 45 doubles and 27 triples, which ranks first in LSU history. As a junior, she led the nation in triples per game and broke the LSU and SEC single-season triples record while ranking fourth in NCAA history with 14.

While at LSU, Peel was a 1999 USA Junior Olympic softball team member and played on the 2001 USA National Red Team. She was also selected to the USA Elite Team in 2002 and 2003. The 2002 SEC player-of-the-year was also a semi-finalist for the USA softball collegiate player-of-the-year award. In 2002, Peel also led the nation in triples per game.

Peel will assume her responsibilities immediately on a part-time basis and permanently when she concludes her professional playing career in August. She said she looks forward to returning the luster to the Lady Pirates’ program.

“I feel very blessed and thankful for this opportunity to be head coach here at Hampton University,” says Peel. “I look forward to working hard with our young ladies to make this a championship program.”

Hardy said he is grateful to Gibbons for her three years of service as HU’s head softball coach.

“As I welcome a new coach into our program, I also want to thank Coach Gibbons for assuming the reigns of the program at a difficult time following the passing of Coach Tiny Laster,” said Hardy. “Coach Gibbons worked hard to build upon the successes of Coach Laster and for that I thank her for her loyalty to her alma mater.”
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