MISHAWAKA – Bethel Athletic Director Tony Natali is pleased to announce that Natalie Newell has been named as the next head coach of Bethel Softball. Newell comes to the Pilots from Indiana University South Bend, where she has been for the previous five seasons, the most recent two years as the head coach.
“I’m very excited to have someone with the credibility of Natalie Newell to lead our softball program,” stated Natali. “Natalie is a quality coach that has an emphasis on developing relationships with her players. She’ll fit in perfectly with our athletic department focus of being Christ-centered and student-focused.”
A 2015 Bethel graduate, Newell was a decorated pitcher for the Pilots as a student-athlete—finishing her career as a two-time NAIA All-American, four-time First Team All-Crossroads League, three-time Crossroads League Pitcher of the Year, a three-time Capital One Academic All-American, and a Bethel Ron Paulsen Memorial Award winner. She broke Brittney (Hire) Lightfoot’s record for career strikeouts and finished her career with a 1.52 ERA and a 60-22 record with 865 strikeouts.
“I am very excited to be coming home to Bethel University and have the opportunity to coach for the program I once played for,” stated Newell. “I’m looking forward to getting to know the Bethel players and to teach, learn, and grow with them in the upcoming years. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to take the reins of the softball program and develop it into all that it can be. I’m ready to hit the ground running and truly dive into working hard for this program and university. Go Pilots!”
Newell began her coaching career at IUSB as an assistant under Lightfoot for three seasons, as the Titans began a softball program from scratch. As an assistant, Newell helped the Titans record a 51-55 overall record and culminated in a program record 23 wins and an appearance in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) tournament in 2019.
Newell was named the head coach at the beginning of the 2019-20 year and recorded a 18-29 record in two seasons that were cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Titans finished this season winning seven of its last eight games and earned the seventh seed in the conference tournament-the second-highest finish in program history. Two Titans were named to the All-CCAC Team following the season.
“I am a high-energy, high-intensity coach who is passionate about developing my players in all aspects through the game of softball,” continued Newell. “People are most important, and I strive to develop my athletes as a whole. I’m very passionate and want to win, but ultimately want to develop people and relationships most of all.”
“Most importantly, I’m ecstatic to grow my team spirually and walk alongside them as we develop our faith in Christ,” emphasized Newell. “Having the opportunity to mentor student-athletes as they navigate their faith journey is wonderful and I’m looking forward to developing a Christ-centered culture within the program.”