augusta free press news

Liberty extends softball coach Dot Richardson’s contract

liberty basketballLiberty University and Dot Richardson have agreed to a contract extension for the program’s head coach through the 2027 season.

“I am extremely grateful to be a part of what God is doing here at Liberty University, including through Liberty Athletics and our softball program,” Richardson said. “We are so blessed to have the support and success. It is an absolute honor to continue to help lead this program with the sole purpose of honoring God and giving Him the glory. The future is so bright because we know who holds our future! Thank you Flames Nation – Let’s continue to be the light of the world.”

The Lady Flames just finished one of the most successful seasons in program history in 2021, posting a 44-15 record, including 16-2 in ASUN North Division play. Liberty, the No. 1 seed in the North Division, claimed its fourth conference tournament title by capturing the ASUN Softball Championship.

Competing in the NCAA Softball Championship for the fourth time, Liberty made its second appearance in a Regional final. The Lady Flames served as the No. 2 seed for the Knoxville Regional, eliminating Eastern Kentucky and the host No. 9 national seed Tennessee Lady Vols. Liberty fell to Women’s College World Series semifinalist James Madison twice at the Regional.

The 2021 season saw numerous firsts, including the team’s first appearance in the Top 25 in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll and ESPN.com/USA Softball Poll. The Lady Flames posted their best year-end RPI (19), while finishing the season ranked 25th in both the USA Softball and NFCA Coaches Polls. Liberty also earned its first-ever win over both Notre Dame and Tennessee, and first home win over a Top 25 opponent (Virginia Tech).

Liberty continued its ascent as a program, posting 40 or more wins for the fourth straight full season. The Lady Flames are one of just 10 NCAA Division I softball teams to win 40 or more games in each season from 2017-19 and 2021.

Richardson was named 2021 ASUN Coach of the Year, her third career conference coach of the year honor (Big South Coach of the Year in 2017 and 2018). Liberty’s coaching staff was named NFCA Mid-Atlantic Region Coaching Staff of the Year in 2018 after posing a program-record 49 wins and earning the team’s first-ever NCAA Regional final appearance.

The Liberty softball program has reached new heights during Coach Richardson’s first eight seasons, during which the Lady Flames have gone 260-192. That includes four straight 40-win seasons and four straight postseason appearances.

The Lady Flames captured the inaugural Postseason NISC title in 2017 and followed with an NCAA Regional finals appearance in 2018. The 2019 season saw Liberty earn a second NISC Regional title, before 2020 was shortened due to CoVID-19 pandemic. Liberty responded with a 44-15 record, ASUN title and NCAA Regional final this season.

Under Richardson’s leadership, the Lady Flames have earned five 30-win seasons and four 40-win campaigns, three conference regular-season titles, two conference tournament championships, two NCAA Regional finals appearances, two NISC Regional titles and one NISC national title.

Richardson’s Lady Flames have posted eight wins over Top 25 teams, including three during the 2021 season.