The following was issued Thursday by the Univ. of Alabama Birmingham Athletic Department...
UAB Director of Athletics Mark Ingram has named Joe Guthrie the head coach of the Blazer softball program Wednesday. Guthrie becomes the fourth head coach in program history [editor: following Jimmy Kolaitis who was hired in June 2018 and recently left to go to Arizona State as an assistant].
Guthrie was hired as an assistant in July of 2018 and was promoted to Associate Head Coach in January of 2020.
"Joe is an extremely accomplished coach and he will do a tremendous job leading the UAB softball program," Ingram said. "Throughout the last two years, he has been instrumental in building a foundation of Blazer softball that is poised to contend for championships year in and year out. We are thrilled to announce Joe Guthrie as our new head softball coach."
Guthrie worked heavily with the Blazers defense which ranked third in Conference USA in 2020 before the season was cut short due to COVID-19. The Blazers led C-USA in chances and putouts and finished second in assists. In 2019 the Blazers defense tied for second in C-USA in double plays with 26, ranking 11th in the nation in double plays per game (0.52). Guthrie also contributed to base running, hitting and recruiting for the UAB program.
"I want to thank Dr. Watts, Mark Ingram and Dan Carlson for this incredible opportunity to lead the UAB softball program," said Guthrie. "I also want to thank Gerry Glasco, Courtnay Foster, Gregg Ritchie, Dr. Michelle Ivey, and Jimmy Kolaitis. Without the mentorship of these individuals, I would not be in the position I am today."
The Blazers got off to a hot start in 2020 winning seven of their first 10 games, the best start in program history. UAB collected 15 wins before the season was canceled the day before the Green and Gold were set to open C-USA play.
"We have an outstanding foundation in place at UAB softball," added Guthrie. "Coach Kolaitis left a great mark here. We will promote a championship atmosphere by adhering to the core values of integrity, discipline and gratitude in all things. We also plan to stand out by having a ton of fun and bringing hope to our university, state and nation. I can't wait for the ride to begin!"
Prior to UAB, Guthrie spent one season at Louisiana as an assistant coach where he helped lead the Ragin' Cajuns to an NCAA tournament appearance and a second-place finish in the Sun Belt. Guthrie spent time in the National Pro Fastpitch league as part of the Scrapyard Dogs coaching staff. He served as an assistant at Penn State from 2014-16 after six seasons as head coach and assistant athletics director at Marion Military Institute.