After being named the next Louisiana Tech softball head coach, Josh Taylor knew one of the first orders of business was hiring a staff.
Wednesday, the highly-successful former Nevada skipper completed that endeavor with the addition of former Arkansas standout Shelby Hiers.
In fact the addition of Hier makes it an all-Razorback assistant coaching staff as she joins new pitching coach Chelsea Cohen, another former Arkansas standout hired by Taylor a few weeks ago.
Cohen nor Hiers played with each other during their collegiate careers. Cohen lettered at Arkansas from 2009 through 2013 while Hiers spent her time as a Razorback from 2014-17. Now they are both Lady Techsters.
“I couldn’t be more excited with these two hires,” said Taylor, who spent the past five years at the helm of the Nevada program. “Not only are Chelsea and Shelby both great coaches, but they are even better people. They will both be tremendous role models for our players.”
Hiers comes to Tech after spending the past two years at the University of Georgia, including helping lead the Bulldogs to the 2021 Women’s College World Series less than a month ago.
Her responsibilities at LA Tech will include assisting with catchers, defensive game planning, hitting, video analysis, recruiting, and camps and clinics.
“Shelby will bring a rare combination of youth and experience to the LA Tech softball family,” said Taylor. “She has played and coached under some of the best coaches in the country and will bring a high level expectation to Ruston. Her work ethic stood out when going through the hiring process.”
Prior to her time in Athens, Hiers had a brief stint as the volunteer at Virginia where she worked primarily with the outfielders and assisted with the offense. She also served as camp director and assisted with film breakdown.
Hiers played four seasons (2014-17) at the University of Arkansas, making more than 150 starts behind the plate for the Razorbacks. Her best offensive season came in 2016 when she hit .283 with nine home runs, seven doubles and 22 RBI. As a senior, she threw out 15 runners attempting to steal.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to join the Louisiana Tech family,” said Hiers, who spent time playing in the National Pro Fastpitch league for the Akron Racers. “It is an exciting time for the sport and the opportunity Louisiana Tech has to offer its student athletes. I can’t wait to get to work and win some games.”
The Quitman, Georgia, native graduated from Arkansas with an undergraduate degree in Kinesiology in May 2017. She stayed in Fayetteville to complete her graduate degree in Recreation and Sports Management while also serving as a graduate assistant for the softball program. She earned her master’s degree in May 2019.
Taylor, Cohen and Hiers are scheduled to be in Ruston permanently by mid-July. Taylor has spent the past few weeks on the road recruiting in Arizona and Colorado and the trio will head back out in July.
PHOTO: Billy Bundrick Park, LA Tech’s new home field. Photo courtesy LA Tech Athletics.