PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – Gulf Coast’s first-year head softball coach Scot Thomas definitely knows the game of softball.
“It was definitely a surprise for him to come in,” Gulf Coast softball player Belle Wolfenden said.
He spent 23 years leading and building the softball program at Virginia Tech and now he brings a plethora of experience to the Commodores.
So far with the Commodores, he has a 10-4 record and nabbed his 800th career win with the team, but Thomas said there’s really no difference between coaching here and at the Division I level.
“Softball is the same. I’ve been really pleased with the girls and the way that they’ve adapted to the game as far as learning it,” Thomas said. “I haven’t noticed a whole lot of difference to be honest with you. I think they’ve done a great job, we’ve got some girls who can definitely play Division I. We got a beautiful beach to run down to when we get done playing ball so it’s not a bad place to be.”
Some of the players said they were a little bit intimidated to meet the new coach.
“I will say I was a bit nervous meeting him and him coming from a D1 to a JUCO, I was expecting the practices to be really hard and a lot of running and him wanting a lot out of us,” Gulf Coast pitcher Taylor Lee said. “But he’s been really laid back, very supportive and he’s very committed to this team.”
Most players were in the exact same boat as the new coach.
“It was really exciting. Coming to a team where I didn’t know anybody, didn’t know the coaches, didn’t know the area, it was really interesting,” Gulf Coast player Summer Johnson said. “I didn’t know what to expect so coming here it’s been a delight. It’s been so fun, the team’s so close, we all love each other, it’s been great.”
The Commodores will be on the road this weekend to play in a tournament in Longwood, but will be at home for the first time on Wednesday.
“Very excited. I’m very excited to see what comes in conference,” Wolfenden said. “I think we’re gonna do pretty well if we keep working hard.”