Southern Miss is expected to hire Natalie Poole as its next head softball coach.
The hiring was first reported by Extrainningsoftball.com, which a source later confirmed the hire to Pine Belt Sports.
Poole spent the last 11 seasons at Memphis before parting ways this past spring. Poole, who was the program's second-ever head coach, posted a 241-340 overall record during her tenure. Memphis also posted a 58-146 record in conference play across the same period.
This comes after the previous coach Brian Levin stepped down from the program after three seasons.
Poole's best season at Memphis came in 2018 as the Tigers finished with a 37-21 record and reached the AAC conference semifinals.
Poole is also a member of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Board of Directors, part of the organization's All-American committee, and recently completed the first year of a term on the NCAA Division I Softball Committee. The group that selects the NCAA tournament field and organizes the Women's College World Series.
Prior to Memphis, Poole spent three seasons leading her alma mater at McNeese State. Poole's first head coaching job was at Georgia Southern compiled a 212-215 career record in seven seasons. The Eagles went 71-53 in the Southern Conference and made the NCAA Tournament in 2006. Poole was named the Southern Conference Coach of the Year in 2002, her first year as a head coach. In total, Poole posts a career record of 553-639.
As a college athlete, the Baton Rouge, La native was a standout catcher for McNeese State from 1994-97. She was a three-time All-Southland Conference pick (1995-97) and a two-time All-South Region selection (1996-97). Poole also earned All-Louisiana honors in 1996. As a freshman, she helped the Cowgirls to a Southland Conference title and the school's first NCAA Tournament appearance. Poole was named McNeese State's Most Valuable Player her senior year and concluded her playing career with a .296 batting average.