STARKVILLE – Building relationships with her team was paramount for Taryne Mowatt-McKinney when she was named Mississippi State’s new pitching coach.
Since arriving in Starkville in June, Mowatt-McKinney’s main goal was to help form a strong foundation built on connections with her staff and players.
“Relationships are huge for me, mostly because I want to get to know the people I’m around every day,” Mowatt-McKinney said. “I’m at the field and around this group of people just as much, maybe even more, than my family. I want to make sure that I know who I’m surrounding myself with – and with the players – I want them to know who I am. I want them to have that transparency so they can trust me.”
Mowatt-McKinney began her softball career as a pitcher at Arizona, where she led the Wildcats to back-to-back national championships in 2006 and 2007. After shattering multiple WCWS records and earning MVP honors in 2007, Mowatt-McKinney earned a pair of ESPYs for her efforts and was named a Second Team All-American.
Mowatt-McKinney was not just a threat in the circle, but she also made the most of her appearances at the plate. Now that she is at MSU, Mowatt-McKinney has the opportunity to work with State’s pitchers who can also swing the bat. It does provide its own unique challenges, however.
“It’s challenging because you only have so much time with them,” Mowatt-McKinney said. “It’s really a matter of trusting that they’re going to do some extra work on their own if they want to be successful because they have to split their time with our pitchers.”
Following a stint as a professional player, Mowatt-McKinney landed her first coaching gig at California Baptist where she coached multiple pitchers to program records and conference honors. She then arrived at Ole Miss and led the program to historic heights by leading the Rebels’ pitching staff to their first NCAA Tournament appearance before returning to her alma mater.
Her experience as a player and as a coach has allowed Mowatt-McKinney to know how to strengthen the bonds with her players and help build a firm foundation for success.
“I think having experience both as a player and a college coach that has been to the College World Series, it’s tough to teach experience, but you can teach the process of what it takes to get there,” Mowatt-McKinney said. “I think I can relate…