For only the second time in school history, Southern University can say it has a new softball coach.
Southern Athletic Director William Broussard announced Wednesday the hiring of Lee Dobbins, who spent the past two seasons as an assistant at Division III power Emory.
Dobbins takes over for Nancy Marshall, the softball coach at Southern from its inception in 1997 through last season.
“There is great athletic tradition at Southern,” Dobbins said by phone Wednesday from Orlando, where he was conducting a softball clinic. “It’s one of the jobs, when I found out it was open, I was immediately interested. It’s in a great city. I saw the potential there to have a really good program.”
Dobbins said he would not report to Southern until July 22, but that he had already begun putting together a staff of assistant coaches.
“With his extensive experience as a Division I assistant and Division II head coach, and his reputation as an excellent teacher and tireless recruiter, we expect great things moving forward from Jaguar softball,” Broussard said in a university news release.
The hire is awaiting approval by Southern Chancellor James Llorens, according to the release.
Dobbins takes over a program that went only 13-75 under Marshall the past two seasons, but that celebrated Southwestern Athletic Conference championships in 1999 and 2003 and has finished as the SWAC runner-up five other times.
“I think we can make that a consistent thing,” Dobbins said of competing for SWAC titles.
Dobbins will be serving as a head coach for the third time after previously holding head jobs at Lander University and Texas A&M International.
His stops as an assistant include two years at Tennessee-Chattanooga, where he helped lead the Lady Mocs to a 44-14 mark and NCAA tournament berth in 2011.
From there, he joined coach Penny Siqueiros at Emory, which went 76-10 in his two seasons.
Dobbins also spent time as a student assistant at the University of Tennessee, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communications.