A national search for the next University of South Carolina Beaufort softball coach wound up leading back to campus, as assistant Laura Heberling was named the head coach of the Sand Sharks, the school announced Tuesday.
“This position drew significant interest, as we knew it would, and we were in conversations with several high-caliber coaches with outstanding experience, including some at the NCAA Division I level,” USCB Director of Athletics Quin Monahan said. “At the end of the process, it was clear that Laura was the best candidate to lead Sand Shark softball.”
Heberling served as an assistant during the first two years of the program’s existence and was instrumental in the team’s success, including key roles as the team’s pitching coach and lead recruiter. Under Heberling’s tutelage, USCB’s pitching staff compiled a 2.28 ERA last season, with sophomore Kristy Cook (22-2, 1.86 ERA) earning honorable mention NAIA All-American accolades.
After finishing with a 37-11 record in its inaugural season in 2012, USCB went 43-6 and won the Sun Conference regular-season and tournament titles in 2013 before falling one win short of qualifying for the NAIA National Championship tournament.
“It’s safe to say our softball program would not be where it is without Laura’s contributions over the past two seasons,” Monahan said. “We’re excited for her to have the opportunity to take over the program and continue to lead Sand Shark softball to national prominence.”
As a player, Heberling was a standout pitcher and infielder at Young Harris College and UNC Pembroke. After her playing career, she served as an assistant coach at UNC Pembroke, William Woods University and Iowa Wesleyan College before joining USCB in February 2011.
“I’m just so excited to have this opportunity and so thankful that Mr. Monahan and the rest of the administration at USCB have faith in me to lead the Sand Shark softball program to even greater heights,” Heberling said. “We have an amazing nucleus of players returning and some exciting freshmen coming in, so I can’t wait to get on the field this fall and start working toward our ultimate goal of a national championship.”