Positively Promoting the Student Athlete Since 1992

LAKELAND, Fla.—Southeastern University Director of Athletics Drew Watson has named Kayla Watkins as the new head softball coach for the Fire.
Watkins has spent the last two seasons as the top assistant coach at the University of Southern Mississippi where she oversaw the pitching staff, and helped contribute in all other areas of the game. The Golden Eagles led Conference USA in earned run average at 2.34, and featured C-USA Pitcher of the Year, Abby Trahan, who topped the individual leaderboard with a 1.95 ERA.
“Kayla brings a proven track record of success to Lakeland,” said Watson. “She understands what it takes to build and maintain a winning program and, more importantly, brings a passion for the mentoring and discipleship of young women that sets her apart. I’m looking forward to seeing what she can do here.”
Watkins spent a season as the head coach at Bryan College before heading to Hattiesburg, guiding the Lions to a 15-5 record in the Appalachian Athletic Conference, and a league co-championship.
“There is clearly an expectancy for excellence in every area at Southeastern University and I count it a privilege to be able to join the incredible community at SEU,” said Watkins. “On the softball diamond, Southeastern has set a very high standard in a very short time, and I am eager to get to campus to begin working with these young ladies as we set out to make a statement on and off the field in our pursuit of excellence as an NAIA national contender.”
Prior to her college coaching experience, Watkins won three fastpitch state championships as the head coach at Madison Central High School, posting an overall record of 218-59. Her teams also had three MHSAA 6A State Runner-Up finishes in addition to the three titles. A total of 23 of her players went on to play college softball.
Away from the diamond, Watkins has been a Bible study leader for college girls, young adults, and high school girls in the past, and has been an FCA sponsor.
“It is my greatest joy to come alongside young women and see them grow as players as they also grow in their knowledge and pursuit of Jesus Christ, so I am incredibly grateful to Drew Watson and the administration at Southeastern for allowing me the privilege of pursuing this passion,” said Watkins.
As a player, Watkins posted a career .330 batting average and was 38-14 with a 1.54 ERA pitching during her time at Samford and Mississippi College.