Jeff Breeden enters his eighth season as Head Softball Coach at Middle Tennessee having seen improvement in his team in each of the seven previous years.
After being predicted to finish 11th in Conference USA in the preseason, Middle Tennessee captured their first C-USA Tournament title as the six seed en route to their second regional appearance ever. The blue and white concluded the season with a 39-22 record, the second-most single-season wins in program history. Middle is the lowest seed to advance to a C-USA title game since 2009 and the lowest seed to ever claim a league championship.
The win was MT's second conference championship in program history, as the 2000 squad won the Ohio Valley Conference Championship.
The biggest jump in progress was the 2015 campaign, which saw several entries into the team record books for hitting categories. The 2015 squad ranked first in school history in on-base percentage (.372), second in batting average (.297), second in walks (143), third in RBIs (219), fourth in runs scored (235), fourth in slugging percentage (.401), fifth in triples (10), and sixth in stolen bases (70).
In his seven seasons with the Blue Raiders, Breeden has also coached two All-Conference USA First Team selections (Laura Dukes, 2014; Morgan Harris, 2015) and two All-Conference USA Freshman Team selections (Cor’Nisha Birdsong, 2015; Morgan Harris, 2015).
Breeden’s student-athletes have also excelled in the classroom at Middle Tennessee. He has coached 13 NFCA All-Academic Scholars and 48 players have been recognized for conference academic honors (34 C-USA, 14 Sun Belt).
Breeden was a proven leader and winner prior to Middle Tennessee, compiling a 764-188-3 record in 22 seasons as a head softball coach in the Tennessee high school ranks. He ranks 17th in all-time wins in the National Federation of High School Sports (NFHS) record books.
At Riverdale High School, Breeden amassed a 423-67-3 record from 2004-2012. His tenure with the Warriors also included the 2009 state championship season and a rise to as high as fourth in the national rankings during the 2011 season. Riverdale also won the District 7-3A title each of his seasons as head coach as well as 3 Region 4-3A titles, leading to four state tournament appearances.
The Daily News Journal selected Breeden as Coach of the Year all nine years (2004-12) he was at Riverdale and at least one of his players in each of his nine years has earned a Division I scholarship to continue her playing career. He supervised plans and construction of a new press box, concessions, field, dugouts and indoor facility at Riverdale with a total fundraising budget of approximately $92,000 annually.
The Warriors also set a NFHS softball national record from Breeden’s tenure for most team shutouts in a season (38 in 2007), topping the previous standard established by the school a year earlier by one.
One of Breeden’s high school pitchers, Cathleen Hosfield, set the NFHS mark for single-season strikeouts with 659 in 2007. Hosfield also moved into third in single-season wins (44) and fourth in shutouts (31) the same year.
Breeden also ran annual softball camps at Riverdale that attracted 50-85 campers each year during his tenure.
In 2011-12, Breeden served as the Director of the Middle Tennessee Softball Coaches Association and was the organization’s Assistant Director in 2009-10. He coached in the Tennessee/Kentucky All-Star Series in 2007 and was a part of the coaching staff at the Middle Tennessee North/South All-Star Game in 2003.
Breeden has also coached a summer travel ball squad called the Murfreesboro Firebirds. He guided the team to the 2008 USFA 18 Gold World Series championship.
In addition to his softball duties, Breeden served as the school’s defensive line coach on the football staff. He coached the 2008 Mr. Football winner, LaDarius Verge, and a 2006 Mr. Football finalist, Eugene Goree. The Warriors captured the 2004 5A state crown and were state runner-up in 2003 and 2005 with him as a member of the staff.
Breeden served in the classroom at Riverdale as well, teaching physical science, biology and driver education since arriving in 2003.
Prior to coming to Murfreesboro, he was the head softball and football coach at Coffee County Central High School in Manchester, Tennessee in addition to his teaching duties for biology and physical science classes.
As the Lady Raiders softball coach, he guided the program to a 341-121 record from 1990-2003 with two state tournament appearances, one of which resulted in a third-place finish. The team won six District 8-3A titles and four Region 4-3A championships, while collecting two TSSAA Sectional crowns.
Before he took over the program in 1990, the school had only one win in its history. He supervised the construction of the field and stadium, organized the first softball booster organization and the first summer league fast pitch program in Coffee County. After building the program up, he coached 31 players at Coffee County that earned collegiate scholarships.
Additionally, Breeden became the first high school coach added to the Worth Advisory Committee for fast pitch softball and coached at all levels of summer leagues, from local to national, in ASA and NSA.
Breeden started at Coffee County as an assistant football coach from 1990-97, working with offensive and defensive lines, before taking over the head coach responsibilities in 1998. He also organized reinstatement of the freshman football program and increased participation from 26 to 81 players.
Breeden started his teaching and coaching career in 1989 at Morristown Hamblen High School East in Morristown, Tenn. There he was the freshman football coach and a physical science/biology teacher.
Breeden graduated from ETSU in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in education science.