On the heels of one of the Aggies’ worst seasons, Texas A&M softball coach Jo Evans has revamped her staff with the key change being the addition of Florida State hitting coach Craig Snider, who also will serve as recruiting coordinator.
Snider replaces Keith Stein, who also was the director of the program’s summer camps. A&M associate head coach Joy Jackson, who just completed her 23rd season, will become the program’s director of operations and camps director. Cassie Green, who had been director of operations the last two seasons, is now the video coordinator, while Kara Dill remains the pitching coach.
Snider will be in charge of jump-starting an offense that batted .273 to rank 12th in the Southeastern Conference this season. A&M also ranked 12th in doubles, averaging just under one per game, and last in home runs at 0.6 per game. In SEC play, A&M batted just .225 with only Florida (.214) worse. A&M scored 70 runs and had 13 doubles, both the fewest in conference play. A&M also didn’t have much speed, stealing only 41 bases, none in league play.
Snider, who also worked at Stephen F. Austin and Oklahoma, helped Florida State set numerous school records in eight seasons, including marks this year for home runs (105), batting average (.330) and runs batted in (423).
“He understands how to develop hitters and what it takes to compete at the highest level,” Evans said in a press release. “He is great at building relationships with players and is a top-notch recruiter, having established great ties within the softball community.”
The Seminoles went 418-98-1 during Snider’s time, making three Women’s College World Series appearances and winning the national title last season.
“I’m honored and humbled to work for another storied program and elite head coach,” Snider said. “Throughout my career, I have always admired and respected Coach Evans and the Aggie softball program. I have had the honor to work for and meet so many great alumni who have helped shape the culture to win three national championships and make 12 Women’s College World Series appearances. Thank you to Coach Evans and the administration for the opportunity to carry on the Aggie tradition.”
Snider joins a program that had only one senior this season: shortstop Riley Sartain, a four-year starter. The Aggies had eight freshmen and six sophomores, but first baseman/third baseman Haylee Klingler, who made the SEC’s all-freshman team, announced last week she’ll transfer. Klingler batted .289 with five home runs and 29 RBIs.
Klingler and freshmen catcher Haley Lee were considered the building blocks for a program that last year came within an out of recruiting the WCWS then was depleted by graduation, three starters transferring and another quitting the sport.
A&M will have a recruiting class soon reporting that was ranked 11th in the country by flosoftball.com.
Evans, making plans for her 24th season, will lean on the reshuffled stuff to help her improve a team that was held to three runs or less 27 times and had a 3.71 earned run average, A&M’s second highest in the last two decades.
A&M was run-ruled five times during a 1-7 start to SEC play. By season’s end junior pitchers Payton McBride and Kendall Potts had improved enough that the Aggies allowed four runs or less in their last seven losses. But A&M’s offense scored only eight combined runs in those seven losses and only half of those runs were earned.
The Aggies did extend the school record of consecutive NCAA tournament appearances to 18, but that didn’t sugarcoat a disappointing season as the Aggies played its first full season in $28.6 million Davis Diamond. A&M went 28-27 overall and posted its fewest victories since finishing 15-14 in 1975-76. A&M also finished last in the SEC with a 6-18 record, its worst mark in conference play since it began league play in 1996 when it joined the Big 12.
NOTES — Snider coached at SFA from 2008-10 under former A&M catcher Gay McNutt and has another tie to Texas as his wife Lauren is from Bellville. Snider helped SFA improve its batting average every season he coached there. Snider, who graduated from Centenary, started his coaching career at Lindsey Wilson in Columbia, Kentucky, from 2001-03. He coached at his alma mater for two seasons and at Oklahoma for two seasons. ... A&M Consolidated graduate Stein was a volunteer assistant just completing his second season. He was hired to replace Gerry Glasco, who left A&M after two seasons to be Louisiana-Lafayette’s head coach. ... FSU (55-10) lost to Oklahoma State in the super regionals this season. ... The Sniders have a daughter, Riley, and a son, Henry.