Courtney Breault, a two-time All-Big Ten selection at the University of Nebraska, joined the Furman softball staff as an assistant coach on January 9, 2014.
In her first season with the program, Breault helped lead the Paladins to just their second winning season in a decade with a 29-26 overall record and helped Furman establish a new single season team home run standard with 35 long balls. The Paladins posted a 12-8 league mark to finish third in the Southern Conference.
“I’m extremely excited to have Courtney join our staff,” said Jamieson, at the time of the hiring. “Courtney was an elite player that played at the highest level, and she has a vast amount of experience playing in “big time” pressure filled games. She is probably the most passionate and emotional player I have had the privilege of coaching, and we are looking forward to her bringing that same burning desire to win she had as a player, to our dugout as a coach. To have a college world series athlete, who is also a great person, around our program every day, we feel very fortunate.
Breault, a native of Roseville, Calif., earned second team All-Big Ten honors as a second baseman for the Cornhuskers in 2012 after transferring from Arkansas. In 2013, she batted .258 with five home runs and 24 RBIs as a designated player to earn second team All-Big Ten honors for the second consecutive year and propel the Huskers to their first Women’s College World Series appearance in a decade.
In the NCAA Tournament, Breault produced five hits in only 10 at bats at the NCAA Lincoln Regional, posting a .500 batting average. Her bat was a big reason Nebraska advanced, as she produced three RBIs in both of Nebraska’s wins against No. 13 Stanford, including a 2-for-4 effort with a double in the regional final victory. Breault also produced a run and an RBI in Nebraska’s 4-2 victory at No. 3 Oregon in the championship game of the Eugene Super Regional, when the Huskers clinched a spot in the NCAA Women’s College World Series.
As a junior in 2012, Breault batted .261 with two doubles, five home runs and 24 RBIs. Her numbers improved significantly over the second half of the season, when Breault was her healthiest. Over her first 25 games, Breault batted .212 with 11 hits in 52 at bats, including two doubles, one home run, 10 RBIs, nine walks, a .308 slugging percentage and a .354 on-base percentage. But as she regained strength in her shoulder following surgery, Breault batted .305 with 18 hits in 59 at bats, including four home runs, 14 RBIs, 10 walks, a .508 slugging percentage and a .417 on-base percentage. Over the entire season, Breault ranked third on the team with five home runs and she was one of a school-record seven Huskers to drive in at least 20 runs.
Breault began her career playing alongside fellow Furman assistant Sandra Day at the University of Arkansas. She started 95 games at Arkansas, boasting a .272 batting average with 14 doubles, nine home runs and 51 RBIs. The infielder also scored 27 runs and posted a .363 on-base percentage and a .429 slugging percentage in her two-year career as a Razorback.
She was named to the SEC All-Freshman team in 2010 and to the SEC Academic Honor Roll in 2010 and 2011.
Breault attended Woodcreek High School, where she was a four-year starter for the Timberwolves, including being the only freshman on the varsity roster in 2006 when Woodcreek was ranked 13th nationally by USA Today. A team captain as a junior and senior, Breault was a three-time all-league selection, was named to the all-area team as a sophomore and was named the Roseville Press Tribune’s City Player of the Year as a senior. In her final year, Breault batted .408 and led the league in average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage and home runs. Breault was also a three-year letterwinner on the basketball court.
Former University of Arkansas standout Sandra Smith joined the Furman softball staff as assistant coach in August of 2012, and is in her third year with the program.
During her first two seasons with the program, Smith helped Furman post a combined 56-53 record after the Paladins had gone 35-70 over the two season prior to her arrival. In 2014, the Paladins went 29-26 overall and 12-8 in Southern Conference play for just their second winning season in a decade. Smith laso helped lead Furman's offense to a new single season record with 35 home runs.
“I am extremely excited to have Sandra join us here at Furman University,” said head coach Kyle Jamieson. “She was a very successful and elite player in the Southeastern Conference, and now as a coach she will bring a great amount of knowledge, skill, enthusiasm and passion for this game that will have a positive impact on our players and program.”
Smith joined the Paladins after serving as an assistant softball coach at Rogers High School in Rogers, Ark., during the 2012 season. She also worked as a private hitting and infield instructor for two seasons and helped coach the Springdale Chicks U-15 team in the summer of 2012.
A three-time Southeastern Conference Spring Academic Honor Roll member, Smith earned SEC All-Defensive Team honors and first team NFCA All-South Region accolades as a senior for the Razorbacks in 2010 after batting .326 with nine home runs and a school-record 50 RBI. Smith, who logged most of her playing time as a third and first baseman during her college career, fielded .995 as a senior with just one error. She finished her career as the school’s all-time leader in walks with 103.
As a junior, the Tulsa, Okla., native belted a school-record 14 homers and drove in 45 runs while establishing a single season Arkansas record with 32 bases on balls. Among Smith’s record home run total was a grand slam versus second-ranked Arizona State.
Prior to joining the Razorbacks, Smith earned all-state honors as a prep standout at Catoosa High School in Catoosa, Oklahoma, while leading the Indians to district and conference championships as a senior. She also played for the Oklahoma Illusion and Oklahoma Elite club teams.