With unmatched success as assistant, McDonald is ready to lead a program

Sharonda McDonald was named head softball coach earlier this year, bringing with her a reputation as a tireless recruiter, a veteran coach and a star athlete at Texas A&M. She has been an assistant coach at Ohio State, Florida, LSU, Ohio and Texas Tech, but Campbell marks her first collegiate head coaching position.

“Before you become a head coach, there’s a bit of apprehension about the transition from assistant coach,” McDonald says. “But I got my feet wet coaching the [Chicago] Bandits in the pro leagues last summer and loved it. I was reassured — no matter the position, it’s softball. It’s what I’ve been doing my whole life.”

As an assistant coach, McDonald helped guide Florida to 114-17 record and an appearance in the 2017 Women’s College World Series. She made back-to-back NCAA Regional appearances at LSU and led the recruiting and coached hitting at Texas Tech. She spent three seasons at Ohio University, helping lead the Bobcats to the 2011 Mid-American Conference East Division championship and the MAC championship game. This past season, she was part of an Ohio State program that was ranked in the Top-25 throughout the regular season and enjoyed its most wins (36) since 2010.

“I have spoken with countless head coaches across the country, and each conversation eventually led to Sharonda.” says Athletics Director Bob Roller. “She’s been around championship-caliber teams as both a player and a coach, and we look forward to seeing this transformation with our softball program.” 

As a player, the Houston native was a four-time All-Big 12 selection at Texas A&M from 2004-07. She still holds school records for most runs scored and stolen bases.

“Sharonda is a person of great character and integrity,” says Jo Evans, head coach at Texas A&M. “She has a real passion for the game and for teaching. She will be a great role model to her players and a tremendous asset to the softball program and Campbell.” 

McDonald, who immediately began her collegiate coaching career after graduation while also playing professionally for eight years, said she is excited to take on a college program after spending the 2017 NPF season as the head coach for the Chicago Bandits.

“To me it’s all about maintaining a quality program and a great environment for the girls,” she says. “I loved my college experience and I want the same thing for them.”