Kayla Watkins is in her first season at Southern Miss after spending last season at Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee as their head coach. During her time, the Lions went 23-24 overall and 15-5 in conference.
Watkins also was responsible for the Lions’ senior Olivia Gore as the all-time hits (223) and doubles (48) leader in that program’s history.
Victory in both the classroom and on the field led to four Lions earning All-Conference First Team honors, one being named to All-Conference Second Team, a pair of newcomers making the All-Freshman list, two All-Defensive Team members, and five All-Academic honorees.
Prior to Bryan College, Watkins spent nine years as the head coach at Madison Central High School leaving with a 218-59 record. Watkins led the team to a MHSAA 6A State Championship in 2010, 2011 and 2012 and State Championship Runner-Up in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Watkins coached Kelly Young, 2012 Mississippi Gatorade Players of the Year, Katie Anne Bailey, who went on to play for Mississippi State and recent Golden Eagle graduate Bailey Stokes.
She earned a bachelor's degree in English Education with a math certification from Mississippi College in 2007 and is currently working on her master's degree in Interscholastic Sports Administration at William Carey.
Carlos joins the program after a four-year stint at Jones Junior College in Ellisville, Mississippi as their assistant/hitting coach. During his time, he coached in four Junior College National Championships (runner-up three times), four Junior College State Championships (champion three times), one NAIA Conference Championship (champions) and a NAIA World Series. He also coached three Junior College National Players of the Year including recent Southern Miss graduates Lauren Holifield (2015) and Tori Dew (2014).
Last year, the Bobcats hit 88 home runs, which ranked third nationally, and had a team batting average of .388. Jones scored 570 runs (third), had a .624 slugging percentage (fourth) and had a .455 on-base percentage (eighth) all of which are ranked in the top ten nationally.
In 2016, Jones hit 72 home runs, which ranked eighth nationally, and had a team batting average of .337. The team scored 439 runs, had a .533 slugging percentage and had a .405 on-base percentage.
Prior to JCJC, Carlos Castro was a graduate assistant at William Carey where he assisted the coaching staff and coached first base.
Carlos earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education from William Carey in 2014. The Castro brothers are from Bayamon, Puerto Rico, and attended high school at Puerto Rico Baseball Academy.
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