|Title:||Assistant AD/Student-Athlete Services/SWA/Head Softball Coach, 16th Year|
Now in her 16th season with the Jaguars, head softball coach Melissa Brocato continues to wear many hats in the GRU Augusta Athletic Department.
From running the Jaguar softball program, to serving as CHAMPS/ Life Skills Coordinator, to her recent tenure as Compliance Coordinator, Brocato has been and remains one of the most versatile members of the GRU Athletic Team.
On March 5, 2010, Brocato was appointed to the role of Senior Woman Administrator and Assistant AD for Student-Athlete Services.
She is also the winningest coach in the Jaguar softball program’s history, having led the Jags to 414 wins in 15 seasons while producing an Academic All-American (Kacee Camp, 2012) and an All-American (Kristen Jones, 2011) along with 17 All Region selections -- Katrina Leverett (2001), Jenny Davis (2003), Jessica Matta (2005), Amy Dumas (2006, 2007 & 2008), Courtney Smith (2006), Paige Phillips (2007), Alyssa Pingree (2008), Kacee Camp and Jessica Thornton (2009), Sara DeMuth and Kristen Jones (2010) and Jones, Camp and Thornton (2011), and Camp (2012).
In 2012, the Jaguars made their fourth straight NCAA Regional appearance and fifth in the last five seasons en route to a 33-18 record.
Brocato guided her squad to a school-record 40 victories and to the Jags’ third NCAA Regional appearance in the last four seasons in 2010. She also produced three, first-team, All-Peach Belt Conference selections in sophomores Sara DeMuth, Kristen Jones and Jessica Thornton. On Feb. 27, Brocato registered the 300th victory of her career in a 5-4 home win over UNC Pembroke. In 2013, the Jaguars beat King College on March 23 to give Brocato her 400th career win.
Brocato led the Jaguars to what was at the time the winningest season in school history in 2007 when they racked up 39 wins and made their first-ever NCAA postseason appearance, advancing to the semifinals of the NCAA South Atlantic Regional in Columbus, Ga.. They capped their season by earning the first national ranking in the program’s history, finishing the year No. 18 in the nation.
A native of King, N.C., Brocato took over the Jaguar softball program in September of 1998 after serving one year as the junior varsity coach for Campbell University. In addition to her coaching duties at Campbell, Brocato served as a graduate assistant for academic services, Co-Advisor of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, assistant camp director at the Conquest Christian Sports Camp and advisor for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Brocato received her B.S. in Exercise Science from Campbell in 1996 and her M. Ed. in May of 1998. A four-year starter at third base for the Camel softball team, Brocato helped lead the program to two conference championships and one NCAA Regional appearance.
A two-time Big South Conference and Trans America Athletic Conference all-tournament selection and an all- conference honorable mention selection, Brocato was a four-year member of the Big South and TAAC’s All-Academic Team and was twice named to the GTE Academic All-District Team.
Brocato played for the Carolina Diamonds Pro Fastpitch Team during the 1998 season. Brocato enjoys traveling and has most recently spent time teaching and playing softball in East Asia, South Asia, Australia, Guatemala and Mexico.
Formerly Melissa Mullins, Brocato married Matt Brocato on January 11, 2014 in Augusta, Ga.
|Title:||Assistant Coach, Fourth Year|
Evan Smith is in his fourth season as an assistant coach to head coach Melissa Mullins. He is involved in all aspects of the program, from gameday management to prepping players and scouting opponents. He also is in charge of infield and hitters. During his tenure, Smith has helped the Diamond Jags to two NCAA Southeast Regional appearances and helped produce two All-Americans (Kacee Camp, 2012 / Kristen Jones, 2011).
On July 1, 2013 Smith was named a full-time employee to GRU Augusta Athletics.
A graduate of Augusta State in December 2010, Smith lettered in baseball for three years, spending time in the middle infield at 2B/SS. He played in 121 career games, starting 105 of them. He sported a career .271 batting average and scored 73 runs as a top of the lineup threat, while also turning 48 double plays on the infield.
Smith was named a GSAC All-Conference honoree after his freshmen season at La Grange College. He transferred to ASU in 2006 for his remaining years of eligibility. He batted .378 in his first season as a Jaguar, good for second on the team behind All-American Shannon Wilkerson.
During his player career with the Jaguars, Smith was a SAAC member
He earned his Master's Degree in Kinesiology from Augusta State in 2012. Smith married the former Kellen O'Neill of Lincolnton, Ga., on June 23, 2012.
|Title:||Graduate Assistant Second Year|
Kristen Jones is in her second season as an assistant coach to head coach Melissa Mullins. She will oversee the catchers and outfielders, and assist with the offense in her debut assistant position.
Earning her B.S. in Kinesiology from Augusta State in 2012, Jones lettered in softball for four years, making an immediate impact starting in all 55 games her freshmen year to lead the team in homeruns. Jones played and started in all 218 games of her career and totaled 31 home runs, 150 RBI and posted a .317 career batting average.
She was an All-American, named to the All-Southeast Region twice and earned PBC All-Academic honors during her tenure.