Following a stellar eight-year career at William Baptist College, Eric Newell was hired as the second head softball coach in the program’s history on Dec. 16, 2014.
During his tenure with the Lady Eagles, Newell posted a 254-121 record, setting the school record for wins and winning percentage. He led the squad to a pair of NAIA National Tournament appearances, including a fourth-place finish in 2013. His teams have spent 26 weeks ranked in the NAIA Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, climbing as high as No. 4 in the rankings. The Lady Eagles were ranked inside the top 10 for 10 editions. Prior to his arrival at WBC, the softball program experienced nine consecutive losing seasons.
Newell has guided the program to four consecutive American Midwest Conference championships from 2010-13 and been selected the conference coach of the year four times. He has coached five NAIA All-Americans, eight NAIA Scholar-Athletes, 37 all-conference selections and 102 academic all-conference performers. He finished .500 or better in seven seasons, winning 30 or more games five times.
In 2013, the Lady Eagles finished 46-9 and advanced to Bracket Play at the NAIA National Tournament. During the season, Williams Baptist won 19 consecutive games and finished 16-2 in the AMC. After dropping an extra-inning contest to Rogers State in Pool Play, the Lady Eagles rallied and defeated the Hillcats in an elimination, and if-necessary, game to qualify for the bracket round of the tournament. Once in the final round, the Lady Eagles defeated former Southern States Athletic Conference power Lee University and perennial power Reinhardt.
The season prior, Williams Baptist finished with a school-record 51 victories, at one point winning 16 straight games. In addition to finishing the AMC regular-season with a 15-1 record, the Lady Eagles also won the conference tournament.
Prior to his arrival at WBC, Newell spent five years coaching at Fredericktown High School in Fredericktown, Mo., where he started the softball program.
Newell earned his bachelor’s degree in education from Williams Baptist, while earning his master’s from William Woods University. He and his wife, April, have five daughters: Gabriella, Juliana, Adalynn, Jillian and Jacqueline.