Kenton Means, Sports Information Director
LAWTON – The Cameron University softball team has found a new head coach as Aggie athletic director Jim Jackson has announced the hiring of Kayla Adams.
“We were very impressed with Coach Adams from the start of the selection process,” Jackson said. “Her attitude, demeanor, and approach to the game impressed us and when we started to get to know her more, we realized she was the right person for the job. After our national search, our best fit for a new head coach was just 40 miles down the road.”
“USAO had tremendous success with the National Championship in 2018 and a third place finish last year, and she was a big part of that, so we think she can step in and do the same at Cameron. Her knowledge of every aspect of the game makes her a great fit for our program. She already has some familiarity with a handful of our athletes and I think she will quickly earn the respect of the others. We are excited to have Coach Adams on staff and in charge of the Aggie softball team.”
Adams takes over the CU softball program after spending the past four years as the assistant softball coach at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in Chickasha, Okla.
“I’m blessed to have this opportunity to work with such a great group of girls,” Adams said of joining the CU family. “We have a very talented group and we are going keep improving on that foundation of success that the program has built over the last few years.”
The Aggies are coming off one of the best seasons in program history, making it to the NCAA Division II Super Regional for the first time. They also return all but three players from last year’s squad including All-Americans Brenna Busby and Khmari Edwards and All-Lone Star Conference players Callie Busby, Bethany Hines, Breley Webb, and Kaylyn Smith.
“It is great having that senior class of the Busbys, Hines, Smith, Raley Long, and Turner Whorton back, their experience is a huge plus for what we are trying to accomplish. Also, having NFCA Freshman of the Year finalist Edwards with a full year of experience will be big, and I expect those returners to step into that leadership role and help our newcomers excel at this level.”
While at USAO, the Mustang, Okla. native helped led the Drovers to multiple successful seasons. The team finished third in the Sooner Athletic Conference in 2016 and placed second in the conference in 2017. In 2018, USAO placed first in the conference, went undefeated in the regional round, and was the NAIA National Champion. A year later, the team repeated as the conference champions and placed third at the NAIA National Tournament.
“At USAO it took time to build something that big and win a National Championship. These girls already know how to win games, we are just going to have to capitalize on mindset that and keep building toward that ultimate goal. This is a tough conference, but we have the talent to compete with every school, we just have to have everyone buy in and work hard toward our goal.”
Adams coached the 2018 NAIA National Pitcher of the Year, the SAC Player of the Year, and multiple NAIA All-Americans. Off the field, the Drover softball team had the highest GPA in the athletic department in both 2018 and 2019. Individually, Adams was the 2018 NAIA Assistant Coach of the Year, was a part of the 2018 Coaching Staff of the Year and the 2019 Regional Coaching Staff of the Year.
Prior to starting her coaching career, Adams was a standout catcher for the Drovers, hitting .307 with 25 home runs, 42 doubles, 132 RBI, and 94 runs scored over her four-year career. She also threw out 29 potential base stealers and had a .982 career fielding percentage.
Coach Adams earned her B.S. in physical education with an emphasis in coaching, while earning a minor in liberal arts at USAO. She then went on to earn her M.Ed. in sports administration with an emphasis in coaching from East Central Oklahoma.