Zachary hires Courtney Liddle Barbour as softball coach _lowres

Zachary softball coach Courtney Barbour (right) coaches first base for McNeese during a game this spring.

When Courtney Liddle Barbour watched Zachary High play in the Class 5A title-game at the LHSAA State Softball tournament, she was focused on recruiting.

At the time, Barbour was an assistant coach at McNeese State. Barbour was hired as the head softball coach at Zachary on Thursday.

“I already knew a good bit about Zachary because we looked at a couple of their players,” Barbour said. “By watching the final, I got a chance to see the talent Zachary had, not only with those seniors but also the younger players.

“It’s one of those things that worked out well for me and I’m so thankful for this opportunity. Zachary is one of the best schools in the state. I’m excited and ready to get started.”

Barbour takes over for Leslie Efferson-Yellott, who spent 10 years at Zachary. Efferson-Yellott was hired as the head softball coach at Denham Springs earlier this month. The 25-year-old Barbour was already set to make a family-related move to the Baton Rouge area and learned about the Zachary job through the softball “grapevine.”

“I think we got extremely lucky and I think we got a fantastic softball coach,” Zachary Athletic Director Jesse Cassard said. “She is so impressive and I think she has the chance to be another Tami McClure (new ZHS girls basketball coach) and have a huge impact on our program and the sport in this area.”

Barbour spent one season as an assistant McNeese and was a three-time All-ACC selection as a catcher/first baseman at Virginia Tech from 2010-13. She still holds the school record for career on-base percentage at .467.

Barbour played two professional seasons in the MPS for the Pennsylvania Rebellion and also was a volunteer coach at Virginia Tech.

Zachary made it to a softball title game for the first time in 24 years this spring. The Broncos were quarterfinalists in 2015.

“People asked me what we’re going to do because Zachary graduated some talented seniors,” Barbour said. “You’re always going to graduate talent. That’s why you keep working to develop it.”