Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw State Athletics
1000 Chastain Road Mailbox 0201 Kennesaw, GA 30144
Division 1 Georgia Southeast
Public Very Large National competitor

Coaches

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Tripp MacKay

Tripp MacKay was named head coach of the Kennesaw State University softball program on June 29 following two seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Texas.


Tripp helped the Longhorns to a 66-52 (.559) record and two NCAA postseason appearances while playing in the Big 12.


MacKay inherits a Kennesaw State program coming off its best season at the NCAA Division I level after compiling a 39-17 record, capturing the ASUN Conference's regular season and tournament titles, and earning its first NCAA regional appearance. The Owls concluded the year receiving votes in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches and ESPN.com/USA Softball polls and earned a No. 43 RPI ranking.


MacKay succeeds Pete D'Amour, who was named head coach at Virginia Tech on May 31. He becomes the sixth head coach in program history.


"Tripp has a reputation as one of the country's top hitting coaches and has been associated with winning programs at Oklahoma and Texas," Kennesaw State Director of Athletics Milton Overton said. "We are extremely fortunate to attract an individual with Tripp's knowledge and experience. He has coached at the highest levels and has a great understanding of what is required to be a winner on the field and in the classroom, and we look forward to watching him lead the Kennesaw State program and build upon its success of the last two years."


Charged with overseeing all aspects of the Texas offense, MacKay mentored freshman second baseman Janae Jefferson to second team NFCA All-America and NFCA All-Central Region honors in 2018. Jefferson was also a top 10 finalist for the Schutt Sports/NFCA National Freshman of the Year Award.


During his two seasons in Austin, six of MacKay's players garnered NFCA All-Central Region honors, including three (Jefferson, Paige von Sprecklen [P/UT] and Kaitlyn Washington [OF]) in 2018.


"I am excited to be named head coach of the Kennesaw State softball program and look forward to meeting the team and getting to know the student-athletes," MacKay said. "I would like to thank Milton Overton and Scott Whitlock (Senior Associate Athletics Director) for this great opportunity and making me feel very welcome throughout this process. KSU softball has great potential and I know it will continue to grow."


MacKay spent the 2015-16 year as the Director of Player Development for Scrap Yard Sports in Houston, Texas, while also working with the former National Pro Fastpitch expansion team, the Scrap Yard Dawgs. During his time with the organization, he was in charge of overseeing player and coach development as well as development camps and clinics while serving as the team's co-head coach.


Prior to his time with Scrap Yard Sports, MacKay served eight seasons as part of Patty Gasso's coaching staff at the University of Oklahoma, where as an assistant, he was responsible for working primarily with OU's outfielders and offense.


During a stint stretching from 2007-2015, he helped guide the Sooners to a 389-97 overall record, eight consecutive NCAA postseason appearances, including four Women's College World Series berths (national runner-up in 2012), five Big 12 Conference regular-season titles, two Big 12 Conference Tournament Championship crowns and the 2013 NCAA Division I National Championship. For his efforts, he shared 2013 NFCA National Coaching Staff of the Year honors and four straight NFCA Regional Coaching Staff of the Year (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015) accolades.


Helping craft offensive teams that consistently ranked among the nation's elite during each season of his tenure, the 2013 Sooner offense proved especially potent on the way to winning the national title, leading the country in runs scored per contest (7.8) and slugging percentage (.582), while also rating in the NCAA Division I top 10 in batting average (.333), home runs per game (1.54) and doubles per game (1.57). The powerful lineup also established the NCAA single-season record for walks with 348 and set Big 12 season marks for runs scored (476), RBIs (444), slugging and on-base percentage.


Among the numerous individual offensive standouts MacKay helped tutor at Oklahoma were Lauren Chamberlain, who completed her playing days as the NCAA's career HR leader (95 HR's), two-time USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Keilani Ricketts and multi-time All-American Shelby Pendley (finished sixth on the NCAA career HR list with 84). Overall during his time at OU, the Sooners earned a total of 19 NFCA All-America, 39 NFCA All-Region and 52 All-Big 12 Conference honors.


He began his coaching career as either an assistant or volunteer assistant coach with stops at Blinn College (1999-2000), Palm Beach Community College (1998), Cardinal Newman High School (1998) and Northeast Texas Community College (1997).


From there, MacKay spent seven years as a private hitting instructor in Dallas and, in 2004, became a partner in the Dallas Performance Edge Training Center, where he proved instrumental in all aspects of the softball side of the academy, including pitching, hitting, fielding, catching, base running and position specific skills. Prior to his stint at Dallas Performance Edge, MacKay served as a hitting instructor at the Dallas Baseball Academy of Texas from 2000-04 and as head coach of Dallas Tigers Baseball (2003-06). He also spent time as a hitting instructor at Mike Candrea's University of Arizona Summer and Holiday Camps.


MacKay began his own standout playing career on the diamond at the University of Florida (1993-94) before completing his final two seasons of eligibility at Oklahoma State (1995-96). A career .310 hitter and two-time All-Big Eight Conference choice, he reaped second team All-America accolades while helping OSU to a 1996 College World Series berth.


Drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 1996 Major League Baseball Draft, MacKay went on to play professionally for the Vermont Expos (1996) and the Cape Fear Crocs (1997) before concluding his pro career with the Northern League's Winnipeg Goldeyes (1998-99) and Sioux City Explorers (1999-2000).


He earned a bachelor's degree in physical education & health from Oklahoma State in 2000.


A native of Mt. Pleasant, Texas, MacKay and his wife Holly are the parents of three children, Ali, Jack and Brooks.

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Alyssa Cousins

KENNESAW, Ga. – A three-year letter winner at the University of Missouri, Alyssa Cousins joined the Kennesaw State softball program in October of 2016. She became became the first hire for head coach Pete D'Amour, who was named head coach on Sept. 16.


"Alyssa will play a vital role in the success of the Kennesaw softball program. She is one of the smartest players I have ever coached. She can teach the game, pays attention to detail, and most importantly, AC has always earned the respect of her teammates and coaches," D'Amour said. "I thank her for believing in our vision for where we want to take Kennesaw State softball, and am looking forward to working with her."


Cousins joins the Owls' coaching staff after one year at Grayson College where she served the dual role of assistant softball coach and residential advisor.


"I am extremely excited and blessed that Pete chose me to be part of this move in his career," Cousins said. "He brought me to Missouri and now I am tagging along to Georgia, and I couldn't imagine working for a better person. I cannot wait to be part of another winning program here at Kennesaw State."


During her career at Mizzou, Cousins was a member of three Tigers teams that posted a cumulative record of 123-48 (.719), made three NCAA Division I regional appearances, two Super Regional showings and earned three Top 15 final national rankings.


In addition to her efforts on the field, Cousins was a three-time Academic Honor Roll honoree.


Born in Fort Ord, Calif., Cousins attended Newman Smith High School in Carrolton, Texas where she was named district Catcher of the Year in 2009 and 2011 and first team all-district in 2008 and 2010. She earned a bachelor's degree in parks, recreation and tourism, with an emphasis in sport management, from the University of Missouri in 2015.

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Camden Decker

Camden Decker, who served on the staff at Delaware in 2018, has been named an assistant coach, Kennesaw State head softball coach Tripp MacKay announced on Oct. 4.


"Camden came highly recommended and after several conversations with him I knew he would be a great fit for our program," MacKay said. "I look forward to seeing what he can do with our pitchers. He is a hard worker and I know he will do a great job for KSU softball."


Prior to his one season at Delaware, Decker served three years at the University of Texas-Arlington where the Mavericks' pitching showed improvement each season. Under his tutelage, UTA lowered its team ERA by 1.73 runs per game over the previous two seasons and two pitchers were selected to the Sun Belt All-Conference team.


The UTA pitching staff was led by two-time all-league selection Samantha Clakley, who ranked third in school history with 26 wins in 2017. Additionally, Sam Montes tossed the fifth no-hitter in Mavericks history.


UTA increased its win total during all three of Decker's seasons in Arlington, while the 2016 squad set a school record by winning its first 19 games. Six Mavericks earned all-conference honors, while two were named all-region.


Prior to arriving in Arlington, Decker spent the 2014 season as a volunteer assistant at the University of Arkansas.


"I am thrilled to be a part of the Owls family. I want to thank Scott Whitlock and Coach MacKay for giving me the opportunity to come on board and help continue the success KSU softball has seen the past few years," Decker said. "With Coach MacKay as our leader, I am very excited and eager to see where this program can go."


Decker previously spent time as an assistant at the Doug Gillis International Fastpitch Institute, where he helped in the instruction of pitching staffs at Evansville University and the University of Missouri. Gillis served as Kennesaw State's pitching coach in 2017 and 2018.


A native of Aurora, Ill., Decker was a two-year captain of the baseball team at Waubonsee Community College, where he was twice named an all-conference and all-region performer while leading Waubonsee to a seventh-place finish at the 2010 NJCAA Division III World Series.


He then transferred to Trinity International University, where he was a member of the baseball team and volunteer assistant with the softball squad. Decker, a former member for the USA Men's Fastpitch National Team, earned his bachelor's degree from Trinity International in May, 2013.


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