By Marty Gordon
Radford University will begin an immediate national search to find a new softball coach after Aileen Morales left this week for the same position at her alma mater Georgia Tech. Morales has served at the RU helm for the past two years, compiling a 62-54 record. Before that, she served as a head coach at Young Harris College in Georgia.
Morales is one of the most decorated softball players at Georgia Tech where she remains the program’s leader in games played, starts, at-bats and stolen bases. She also remains in the top 10 in several categories and also served as an assistant coach at the school.
Radford University Director of Athletics Robert Lineburg said while the school hates to see her go, he is happy for her.
“She has the opportunity to return to her alma mater where she was an All-American and lead the Georgia Tech softball program. She is leaving our program in excellent shape. We look forward to hiring an outstanding coach in the near future and we continue to be excited about the direction of Highlander softball,” he said.
The 62 wins followed a total of just 54 combined victories in the Highlanders’ three prior campaigns. In her first year, Morales engineered the largest turnaround in Division I softball as Radford improved from 12-37 in 2015 to a 35-26 mark the following season.
The Highlanders moved up from eighth to fourth in the Big South regular-season standings and advanced to the conference tournament semifinals for the first time since 2012. Under Morales’ guidance, Radford won three straight elimination games – its most victories in a single tournament since 2011 – to get within one step of the championship game, after going winless in the three prior tournaments.
The Highlanders were 27-28 this past season, including a 3-2 mark against ACC schools, with shutouts of both Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech.