Laura Watten will not return as Maryland's head softball coach

Todd Carton

After nine years at the helm and following the worst season in the program's history, Maryland softball head coach Laura Watten will "pursue other opportunities."

Maryland softball coach Laura Watten will not return for a tenth season. The official University announcement stated that Watten "has decided to pursue other opportunities and to spend more time with her family." Watten came to Maryland in 2006 after seven years as the head coach at Bethune-Cookman where she compiled a 322-207 record while winning five MEAC Championships and reaching an NCAA Super Regional.

Watten followed Gina LaMandre and was the second head coach for the Maryland softball program that began competing as an NCAA team in 1995. The Terps won at least 30 games in each of Watten's first three years at the helm. The team struggled a bit in 2009 but rebounded to make the program's second NCAA appearance with the first having come in 1999. That started a string of three consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament.

In 2013, the Terps failed to reach the NCAA Tournament despite finishing third in the ACC and winning the most conference games in the program's history. A slow start to the season in which Maryland played high quality competition but lost fourteen of their first twenty games created a hole from which the squad couldn't recover despite rebounding to play well in conference, the remaining schedule didn't have enough strength to garner an NCAA bid based on the Terrapins' 31-26 record.

The program fell on extremely hard times in 2014 winning only 11 games against 35 losses. The 11 wins were the fewest in program history and the 35 losses the most ever recorded by a Maryland softball squad. Watten again front loaded the schedule with some of the nation's toughest squads and the Terps won only one of their first twenty contests. Watten compiled a 280-228 record in her nine years as the Terrapins' head coach.

A reliable source close to the program indicated that assistant coach Jillian Callaway, who played for the Terps from 2001 - 2003 will take charge of the program while the athletic department begins a national search for a new head coach. Representatives from the Maryland athletic department would not confirm Callaway's interim status.

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