Sharonda McDonald named associate head coach while Amanda Locke will serve as assistant coach
Former Texas A&M standout and professional player Sharonda McDonald joined the Texas Tech softball program on June 20, 2014, as associate head coach.
McDonald, a Houston native who played with new Red Raider head coach Adrian Gregory at Texas A&M, will coach the Texas Tech outfielders and lefty slappers while also serving as first base coach. She will be instrumental in recruiting and all other aspects of the program as well.
McDonald comes to Texas Tech following two seasons as the volunteer assistant coach at nationally-ranked LSU where she helped lead the Tigers to a pair of NCAA Regional appearances during her tenure. Similar to her new responsibilities at Tech, McDonald worked with the outfielders and left-handed slappers while at LSU and also helped oversee camp operations.
She arrived at LSU following a three-year stint at Ohio where she helped turn the Bobcats into one of the top offensive teams in the Mid-American Conference (MAC). Ohio combined for 82 home runs during the 2011 and 2012 seasons alone, marking the top two single-season totals in program history.
Her tenure at Ohio was highlighted by a 2011 MAC East Division title and an appearance in the MAC Championship game. The Bobcats posted winning records in MAC play in all three of her seasons.
McDonald began her coaching career as an assistant coach at Texas Southern in 2009. The Tigers, under McDonald's guidance, flourished on the bases, doubling their stolen bases from the year before as she was charged with instructing the Texas Southern hitters and outfielders.
The former standout outfielder for Texas A&M has also played professionally throughout her coaching career as she is in the midst of her seventh professional season, six of which that have been played in the National Pro Fastpitch League (NPF). McDonald is in her first season currently with the USSSA Pride after spending the 2010-12 campaigns with the Akron Racers and the 2007-08 seasons with the Philadelphia Force. She spent the 2009 season playing with the Fiorini Softball Club of the Italian Professional League.
A three-time All-NPF selection during her career, McDonald garnered the prestigious Diamond Spikes Award in 2012 after hitting .303 with 13 stolen bases while with the Racers. She entered the 2014 season with a .280 career batting average along with 96 runs scored.
Her success professionally followed a stellar career at Texas A&M where she shared the field with Gregory during her freshmen and sophomore seasons (2004-05). One of the top hitters in A&M history, McDonald compiled a .338 batting average throughout her four seasons from 2004-07, the seventh-highest clip in program history.
McDonald is the Texas A&M all-time leader for both runs scored (195) and stolen bases (153) and owns the top two single-season marks in both categories as well. She led the nation with 48 stolen bases during the 2005 season alone on her way to garnering the Golden Shoe Award that is presented annually to the nation's top baserunner.
McDonald, who also ranks second all-time at A&M for hits (249) and sixth for at-bats (737), is among the select few players to earn All-Big 12 honors all four years of her career. She was also a three-time NFCA All-Region recipient.
Texas A&M advanced to the postseason all four of McDonald's seasons, highlighted by a trip to the Women's College World Series as a senior in 2007. The Aggies claimed the program's first Big 12 title in 2005 en route to finishing 47-10 overall with the opportunity to host the NCAA College Station Super Regional.
McDonald spent a year with A&M's strength and conditioning staff after exhausting her eligibility. She received her bachelor's degree in kinesiology from Texas A&M in 2008.