Gamecocks' Softball Homecoming: Ashley Chastain Returns to South Carolina as Head Coach

Former Gamecocks Pitcher and Charlotte Coach Ashley Chastain Brings Winning Legacy Back to Alma Mater
Ashley Chastain
Ashley Chastain /

South Carolina's softball program is gearing up for a significant change with the appointment of Ashley Chastain, the current head coach at Charlotte and a former standout pitcher for the Gamecocks. This move marks a homecoming for Chastain, who once donned the garnet and black jersey during her collegiate playing days.

Chastain's journey in softball began at South Carolina, where she distinguished herself over three seasons as a reliable presence on the mound. Her name still resonates in the Gamecocks' record books, holding the eleventh spot in career relief appearances. Notably, during her junior year, Chastain led the team in starts, innings pitched, and earned run average (ERA), showcasing her prowess as a pitcher.

Transitioning from player to coach, Chastain embarked on a coaching odyssey, making stops at various prestigious programs. Her tenure included roles as an assistant coach at the College of Charleston and stints as a pitching coach at Michigan State and Ole Miss, honing her skills and expertise along the way.

However, it was her appointment as head coach at Charlotte in 2019 that truly solidified her coaching legacy. Under her guidance, the Charlotte 49ers experienced a resurgence, culminating in a remarkable 2021 season where they clinched their first-ever Conference USA East Division title. Noteworthy victories, such as the triumph over No. 6 Virginia Tech, underscored Chastain's adept leadership and the team's competitive spirit.

With an impressive coaching record at Charlotte, boasting a .608 winning percentage overall and a remarkable .670 winning percentage in conference play, Chastain brings a wealth of experience and a winning mindset to South Carolina. As she prepares to return to her alma mater, Gamecock fans eagerly anticipate the dawn of a new era under her guidance, hopeful for continued success on the diamond.

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Fisher Brewer

FISHER BREWER

Fisher has been covering the Gamecocks for 5 years as a freelancer under the name of USCTalk, a popular page in the Carolina community that led to his first reporting job for Rivals.com. He left to go back to being a freelancer and then, a year later, joined the Sports Illustrated family in January 2023.