Head Coach Shonda Stanton enters her 16th season at the helm of Marshall Softball and her 17th season overall as a college head coach.Stanton is the winningest coach in Marshall softball history at 480 wins. She recorded her 400th career win at UTEP on April 1, 2012. Stanton has captured three regular season conference titles while participating in three conference championship games and posting nine 30-plus win seasons. In 2013, she led the Thundering Herd to the Conference USA Tournament Title, the first softball conference tournament championship in Marshall history. The Herd advanced to the NCAA Regional Tournament, posting a 1-2 record in the Lexington, Ky. Regional.
Since taking over the reins, Stanton has produced54 all-conference, 25 NFCA all-region, one all-american and 52 player/pitcher of the week selections in 14 seasons. Her Herd players have also garnered a specialty award (2003 Freshman and Pitcher of the Year, 2004 MAC Player of the Year, 2005 MAC Freshman of the Year, 2006 and 2008 CUSA Player of the Year, and 2008 and 2009 Co-Newcomer of the Year).
Under Stanton's leadership, her teams have excelled in the classroom as well, earning a grade point average of 3.0 or higher each academic year of her career, with a top 15 national ranking for team grade point average during four seasons.
LAYING THE FOUNDATION Since she stepped foot in Huntington, she has wasted no time making an impact on the program.Stanton inherited a team that had won just 11 of 43 conference games in the last two years of conference play prior to arrival and was picked to finish last in the Mid-American Conference preseason poll.She promptly led the Herd to an East Division championship and the school's first ever MAC tournament appearance. In 2001, Stanton guided the team to its best mark since the 1996 season, posting a 35-23 overall record.The squad finished 15-9 in the MAC.
PRO CAREER Stanton spent the 2007 and 2008 summers coaching the professional softball club, Akron Racers of the National Pro Fastpitch league.Stanton guided the Racers to a regular season second place finish in 2007 with a 26-17 overall record.Her reputation as one of the elite offensive coaches was supported at the professional level when Stanton managed the Racers leading hitter Norrelle Dickson to a .387 batting average, a league best.Under the tutelage of Stanton, Akron's second baseman, Veronica Wootsen snagged the 2007 Nokona Gold Glove Offensive Player of the Year Award.
PRIOR TO MARSHALL Stanton joined Marshall after heading the program at Indiana University-Purdue University of Indianapolis (IUPUI). During her time at IUPUI, Stanton inherited an NCAA Division II squad that finished 8-20, and promptly led the first-year Division I program to a 27-25 record, a spot in the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament semifinals and a victory over Notre Dame.Stanton's lone season with the Jaguars is currently the only winning season in the program's Division I history.
Stanton received her undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degree in History at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. While at UNC Greensboro, Stanton was a four-year starter, three-year captain, and was instrumental in the Spartans consecutive Big South Conference crowns. During her senior season, Stanton scored 66 runs, eighth best in the nation.
Over her career, UNC Greensboro posted a 151-72-3 record, and finished as Big South Conference champions twice. Stanton is a Charter Member of the Spartan Heroes Hall of Fame at UNC Greensboro. The society was created by Stanton and a number of other Spartan students to increase community service outreach programs in the greater Greensboro area.
The All-Big South performer moved on to Ashland University. Stanton was responsible for many assignments within the athletic department beyond her general softball duties. The Sharon, Pa., native served as an assistant women's basketball coach as well as assisting the women's volleyball program. While at Ashland, she earned a Master's of Education in Sports Science with a stellar 3.85 GPA.
Stanton acted as a graduate assistant for the Eagles. She was an integral part of a nationally recognized program within the NCAA Division II level. During her stay, the softball program set a school record for victories in a season (53), won a second consecutive Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) title and earned a second straight NCAA Division II playoff berth. In the 1997-98 season, the Eagles finished 53-6, won the conference championship and hosted its regional tournament. That season, the entire coaching staff was selected as the coaching staff of the year in the GLIAC. All in all, Ashland compiled an 94-23 record en route to successive bids to the NCAA National Tournament.
PERSONAL Stanton was equally successful on the field after her collegiate days. She played in Women's ASA Fastpitch Summerball for the Chet Smith Lady All-Stars in Columbus, Ohio, and the Buckeye Slammers in Akron, Ohio, from 1994-96. Both teams were Class "A" National Qualifiers and the Slammers captured the Class "B" National Championship in 1994.
Stanton and husband Joe have been married for 16 years and reside in Huntington with their two daughters Shayla (11) and Gianna (8) and son Josiah (4). She also serves as the Marshall FCA campus advisor.