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Xavier University of Louisiana

Xavier University of Louisiana Athletics
1 Drexel Drive Box 92 New Orleans, LA 70125
NAIA Louisiana South
Private Small Not categorized

Coaches

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Leslie Ballard

Announced March 3, 2020, as head coach of XULA's softball program, which made its intercollegiate debut in 2021

• First day at XULA was March 9, 2020

• Head coach for three seasons (2018-20) at Lane College, an NCAA Division II and Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference member in Jackson, Tenn.

• Ballard's best season was in 2019 when the Dragons:

— Were 2-0 against SIAC regular-season champion Spring Hill — the Badgers' only blemishes on a 17-2 conference record in 2019

— Led the SIAC and ranked 11th in NCAA Division II with a .338 team batting average

— Ranked seventh in NCAA Division II in stolen bases per game

• 2012 graduate of Lane, where she pitched and was second-team All-SIAC her senior year

• She was named to the SIAC All-Academic team as a Lane senior

• Native of Nashville, Tenn.


What They're Saying About Leslie Ballard


Angela Sullivan, former Oklahoma Baptist and Trevecca Nazarene head coach and Ballard's private coach

"I have known Leslie Ballard most of her life, starting as a travel-ball player in the 10-and-under leagues. Leslie has a steady personality. She smiles a lot. She's a pleasant and warm person. You always know what you're going to get with her. Student-athletes won't have to guess about her, which always is a positive for them. Leslie has played a lot of positions, so she knows the game — especially pitching. When a head coach knows pitching, it's such an extra benefit to a team. Leslie cares about kids, she cares about softball, and she cares about growing the sport. She loves the opportunity to start and grow the program at Xavier. Her potential as a coach is unlimited. I am happy for her and for Xavier."


Whitney Knighton, Lane College student-athlete who played second base on Lane's softball team as a senior in 2020

"Coach is very patient. She's a very good teacher and very stern when she needs to be. She is very motivating. She does not use the word can't. If you're struggling, she always is there to help you improve. She's a very positive person, and I believe Xavier made the right decision by bringng her aboard. She knows the game well and is well educated. When she has a good team, she expects a lot from them. She was a mother figure for me. She'll work hard to make Xavier a successful program."


Jarvaneika Deloach, Lane College student-athlete who played right field on Lane's softball team as a senior in 2020

"Coach Ballard is going to be an incredible addition to your program at Xavier University. She doesn't just coach softball; she teaches each individual player lifelong skills. She goes the extra mile to get to know her players. These last four years she believed in me when I didn't believe in myself. She once told me, 'you never know how far you can go until you push yourself,' and I will take that with me forever. Her hard work, dedication and knowledge of the game will definitely show next season."

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