The East Central University softball staff will be larger because of a grant from the NCAA. The Lady Tigers were able to add Debby Abbott as a full-time assistant coach through the NCAA's Division II Coaching Enhancement Grant. Debby Abbott was also joined on the staff by her husband Teddy Abbott, who was previously on the ECU softball staff, as a volunteer assistant coach.
The Division II Coaching Enhancement Grant is designed to provide funding for the creation of new assistant coaching positions for DII schools and is intended to encourage access, recruitment, selection and long-term success of ethnic minorities and women.
ECU was one of 15 schools across the country, and two in the Great American Conference, to receive the grant for 2014-16. Southern Arkansas University was the other member of the GAC to receive a grant and also hired an assistant softball coach.
"I am very excited to welcome back Teddy and add Debby to our coaching staff," said head softball coach Destini Anderson. "They both bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to our program. Debby has been successful everywhere she's been and Teddy was instrumental in our success last time he was here. Both of them bring excitement and intensity that will help our program get to the next level."
Debby Abbott spent the previous two years at Abilene Christian as an assistant softball coach. During her time with the Wildcats she helped produce seven players earn all-Lone Star Conference team honors, including Keanna Winkfield, who was selected to the NFCA All-South Central Region First Team in 2013.
Prior to joining ACU, Debby Abbott coached five years at Muskogee (Okla.) High School, where she led her teams to five regional championships and two Large Division 6A State Championships. Her list of high school coaching achievements also includes three state runner-up titles and seven regional crowns.
Debby Abbott also spent a season at Texas Tech (2003) and was part of a team that set a program season record with 32 home runs and turned a Big XII conference record 32 double plays. Three seniors on that year's club went on to be named to the conference's all-academic team.
Debby Abbott has twice been selected to serve as head coach for the Oklahoma All-State Team (1993, 1998), and in 1998 she coached the Oklahoma American Indian Fast-Pitch Team to a gold medal.
Teddy Abbott returns to the ECU after spending three seasons as an assistant (2010-12) under Anderson.
Teddy Abbott comes to the Lady Tigers after two seasons at Abilene Christian University as an assistant softball coach.
Besides his time at ECU, Teddy Abbot also spent two years at Tulsa (2007-08) as an assistant coach. He has also coached for more than a decade at the high school level, and has 20 years of additional experience coaching around the summer ball and club team circuits.
Teddy Abbott helped transform the Lady Tigers into a winning ball club during his tenure at ECU. The Lady Tigers won 34 games in his first year - a 22-game improvement from the year prior - and had six players bat above .300. The team also experienced a surge in home run production and qualified for its first conference tournament in more than a decade.
The 2011 ECU again finished as the conference runner-up for the second-straight year behind an overall record of 38-16. Teddy Abbott's hitters combined for 44 home runs with five individuals hitting .300 or better.
ECU finished 27-18 in 2012 as part of the newly created Great American Conference. The team batted .330 to rank 19th among all NCAA D-2 schools led by senior Emily Kennemer, who produced a conference best (17th in NCAA) .455 batting average.
The coaching duo will both work with the Lady Tigers hitters, while Debby Abbott will work with the infielders and Teddy About the outfielders.