Southern Miss hires Levin as new softball coach

By FROM SOUTHERN MISS,

HATTIESBURG – Southern Miss Director of Athletics Jeremy McClain announced Friday afternoon the hiring of Brian Levin as the school’s ninth head softball coach.

‘During the search process it became very clear that Brian Levin was the right person at the right time to lead our softball program,” said McClain. “His experience and record of success speak for themselves, and his student-athlete centered focus aligns perfectly with the culture we are striving for at Southern Miss. I am excited for the future of our softball program and for the young ladies who will benefit from Brian’s leadership.”

Levin comes to Southern Miss after spending the previous three seasons as the head softball coach at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn.

In just his first season there, the program advanced to its first postseason tournament in the Division I era, earning a berth at the Ohio Valley Conference tourney.  In three seasons, he advanced to two OVC tournaments and posted a 91-70 record which is the most wins in the history of the program over a three-year span.

Levin led the program to its most victories in 2017 since they became Division I in 1998 and is their only coach to ever record 25 victories in three-straight seasons in the Division I era. In addition, the program enjoyed the program’s first Academic All-Americans in each season, coming during the 2017, 2018 and 2019 campaigns.

A veteran of college and professional softball, Levin’s previous head coaching stop included a successful six-year run at the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL). During that time, he directed the Tritons to a 249-83 (.750) record, including a sparkling 150-25 (.857) mark his final three seasons.

Ranking among the winningest coaches in NCAA Division II, Levin led UMSL to four consecutive NCAA Tournament berths (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016) – including consecutive Super Regional appearances in 2014 and 2015 – and three straight Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) tournament championships

In his final season with UMSL, the Tritons posted a 53-9 record, led the nation in fielding percentage, and earned placement in the top 10 of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Top 25 poll every week, including a No. 6 final ranking.

At UMSL, Levin had eight All-America honorees – including four-time All-American and 2016 graduate Hannah Perryman – 21 All-Region selections and 37 garner All-GLVC distinction.

Under Levin's watch, Perryman set NCAA Division II career records for perfect games (nine) and strikeouts (1,725). Her 567 strikeouts as a senior also set an NCAA Division II single-season standard. In April, Perryman became the first NCAA Division II player ever drafted by the National Professional Fastpitch (NPF) league, selected No. 37 overall by the Akron Racers.

Levin was named GLVC Coach of the Year in 2011 and 2015.

He also completed three seasons as field manager of the Akron Racers of the NPF. Levin has coached nine All-NPF selections as was named to the 2014 NPF Coaching Staff of the Year.

Levin began his collegiate coaching career as an assistant at Murray State University.

The Granite City, Ill., native founded STAAR hitting mechanics and camps and the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) Clarksville Heat Softball Organization in Clarksville, Tennessee.

Levin played collegiate football and baseball at Peru State College (NE) where he was a two-time all-conference player. He finished his baseball career with a .344 batting averaging and moved on to play fastpitch softball in southeast Nebraska and semi-professional baseball in the St. Louis area. Levin also earned All-America honors in football as a place-kicker.

Levin also spent 20 years in the military, including 15 stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky., with the 5th Special Forces Group. Among his responsibilities, Levin organized and trained combat forces. While stationed at Fort Campbell, he was an active volunteer coach for football, baseball and softball at Fort Campbell High School.

Levin is married to the former Michelle Morgan and has two children, Alisha and Matthew. Alisha played softball for Providence College, while Matthew played football at the University of Dubuque.

"Michelle and I are so excited to a part of the Southern Miss family. I want to thank Jeremy and the senior staff in the athletic department for selecting me to lead the softball program into the future. I embrace the challenge of competing in one of the top conferences in the country. I look forward to meeting the team, and building relationships that will last long past their playing days. After visiting the campus it was evident the value that the university puts on the athletic department, and how the community of Hattiesburg supports Southern Miss athletics. I am looking forward to getting on campus and getting to work."

He earned a bachelor's degree in industrial technology from Peru State College in 1988 and a master's degree from Northcentral University in sports management and leadership in 2009.

What they are saying about Brian Levin…

Florida Softball Coach Tim Walton

“Congratulations to Southern Miss Athletics on the hiring of Head Softball Coach Brian Levin. Brian is a very energetic coach and tireless worker. I’m looking forward to seeing his impact on the student athletes at Southern Miss on and off the field. Great hire!”

Virginia Tech Softball Coach Pete D’Amour

“Coach Levin is an outstanding addition to Southern Miss. Having known Brian since his days in St. Louis and competed against his Belmont teams, Southern Miss is getting a man of high integrity. His teams improve every year which means he has a philosophy that works. Congratulations to the players at Southern Miss. You’re getting a good one.”

Alabama Softball Coach Patrick Murphy

“Brian will do a great job at Southern Miss after doing a ton of work rebuilding Belmont in a short amount of time. I’ve seen him run a winning pro franchise along with his college teams. He’s been a winner at every stop he’s been at.”

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