Mackenzie Byrd joins East Mississippi’s softball coaching staff

Published 2:24 pm Wednesday, March 9, 2022

SCOOBA — Former Copiah-Lincoln Community College and Alabama State University middle infielder Mackenzie Byrd has been hired as an assistant softball coach at East Mississippi Community College, as announced this week by first-year EMCC head softball coach Whitney Hawkins.

“I couldn’t ask for a better place to begin my college coaching career than here at EMCC working with Coach (Whitney) Hawkins,” Byrd said. “I look forward to learning from her and helping her build a competitive program along with working together to create a culture that everyone can take pride in.”

Upon graduation from Alabama State in 2020, Byrd moved to Hattiesburg to begin jointly working as an assistant manager for D1 Training and also as a softball instructor for the D-BAT softball academy. For the past two years, Byrd served as a softball instructor and coach while also helping young athletes develop their individual training programs. In addition, she worked with sales memberships and helped create marketing strategies by utilizing social media platforms.

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“I’m very excited to have Mackenzie join the EMCC athletics family,” Hawkins noted. “She’s energetic and passionate about the game of softball. Her competitive nature and knowledge of the game will help us build this program into what it should be both on and off the playing field.”

Byrd’s softball coaching experience began when she served as a travel ball coach for Next Level Athletics during the summer months throughout her collegiate playing stints at Co-Lin and Alabama State. For five straight summers (2015-19), she was charged with managing practices for the under-16 travel ball team as well as coordinating the club’s strength and conditioning program.

Following her two seasons at Copiah-Lincoln, Byrd transferred to Montgomery-based Alabama State of the Southwestern Athletic Conference. After redshirting the 2018 season, she went on to make 29 total starts during her two-year ASU playing career. As a redshirt junior, Byrd was a member of the Lady Hornets’ 2019 SWAC Tournament Championship team.

Off the field at ASU, Byrd was a two-year member of the SWAC All-Academic Team and graduated in 2020 with a 3.8 cumulative grade point average. While completing her bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies with minors in management and communications, she spent the spring semester of her senior year working as a marketing intern within the Alabama State athletics department.

A native of Richton, Byrd began her college career at Copiah-Lincoln in Wesson. As a freshman, she batted .271 as a member of the 2016 Lady Wolves’ team that posted records of 29-14 overall and 19-11 in league play to advance to the state tournament. Byrd went on to hit .264 as a 33-game starter during her sophomore season at Co-Lin.

As a multi-sport athlete at Leakesville’s Greene County High School, Byrd lettered four years in softball and basketball as well as participating in track and cross country. She was a two-time softball team captain for the Lady Wildcats and earned all-division honors all four years.