Beginning her fifth season as head coach of Auburn Montgomery softball, Chris Steiner-Wilcoxson has already established a winning tradition at the school.
The Warhawks have compiled a 145-78-2 record during the first four seasons in program history. AUM has won at least 30 games in every season. In her 7-year collegiate coaching career, Steiner-Wilcoxson has gone 229-158-2, winning nearly 60 percent of her games coached. She has won more than 30 games in six consecutive seasons.
During her tenure, AUM has been ranked in the NAIA Coaches' Top-25 Poll during 23 weeks, including all 10 weeks in the 2012 season. In the NAIA Postseason Poll last year, AUM entered the top 10 for the first time, coming in at No. 7 to close out the season. The Warhawks enter the 2013 campaign ranked No. 8 in the preseason poll.
Last season, Steiner-Wilcoxson and the Warhawks reached the NAIA National Tournament for the first time. AUM finished with a 42-20 record, including a 16-8 SSAC record, good enough for second place in the West Division. It was the first time AUM had won over 40 games in a season. The Warhawks clinched their spot in Nationals with a 2-0 conference tournament victory over eventual National Champions Shorter. AUM than went 3-0 in pool play at the National Championship before ultimately falling in bracket play.
Seniors Brandi Richards and Shea Driggers were each named NAIA All-Americans. Richards made the first-team for the second time in her career, while Driggers earned second-team honors. The pair was also joined by Jyssica Pepper as SSAC All-Conference selections. Cassie Daniels and Laci Driggers each made the All-Division team, while Daniels was represented on the conference’s All-Freshmen team.
Steiner-Wilcoxson has led several players to individual success while with the program. AUM has had five NAIA All-American selections, 16 All-Southern States Athletic Conference performers, four league All-Division honorees and four SSAC All-Freshman team members. Former standout Richards garnered All-American honors in each of her four seasons at AUM. She was a two-time SSAC Pitcher of the Year and earned SSAC Division Player of the Year honors in 2011 and 2012. In addition, five Warhawks have earned NAIA Scholar-Athlete honors, while 16 student-athletes have been named to the conference All-Academic team.
In her first season at the helm, Steiner-Wilcoxson helped the Warhawks to a 31-22-1 overall record, including a 19-12-1 mark in the Southern States Athletic Conference and a fourth-place finish in the league. In 2010, the Warhawks improved to a 38-16-1 record, ending the season ranked 20th in the nation. AUM started the 2011 season with 18 consecutive victories, eventually finishing the season with a 34-20 record and five victories against top 25 teams.
Prior to AUM, Steiner-Wilcoxson had a three-year stint at Reinhardt College in Waleska, Ga., where she launched the Eagles' softball program in 2005. At Reinhardt, she compiled an 84-80 overall record, including a 55-31 record in conference games.
In only her second year at the helm of the Reinhardt program, Steiner-Wilcoxson was named the 2006 Southern States Athletic Conference Softball Coach of the Year following her team's third-place finish in the SSAC regular season and runner-up finish at the conference tournament. The Eagles were ranked No. 21 in the final NAIA poll that year and ended with a third-place finish at the Region XIII tournament.
Prior to Steiner-Wilcoxson's move to Reinhardt, she served as head coach at Palmetto High School in Florida, where she coached from August 2000 to May 2004. She won two District 15 titles and was selected to coach the Florida West All-Star team twice. Her squad set a school record for victories in 2003 with 30, and her teams ranked in the top five of the state's 4-A ratings in each year of her leadership.
Steiner-Wilcoxson began her coaching career in 1999 at Eufaula High School, where she established a school record for wins in a season with 29 in 2000 and finished as district runner-up and sub-state finalist.
A two-time team captain at Auburn University, Steiner-Wilcoxson was a three-year starter for the Tigers during the AU program's first three seasons in existence. She hit the first home run in Tigers' softball history and was selected to the Southeastern Conference All-Academic team twice. Steiner-Wilcoxson led Auburn in home runs in 1997 and closed her playing career in 1999 by leading the team in at-bats, triples and stolen bases. She currently ranks third in the Auburn record book in career stolen bases and triples. She transferred to Auburn following her freshman year at Huntingdon College, where she played varsity softball and volleyball.
A 1994 graduate of Robertsdale High School in Robertsdale, Ala., Steiner-Wilcoxson was a four-year starter in softball, volleyball and basketball. She was inducted in the RHS Hall of Fame in 2006 as the winner of 12 letter awards in varsity sports.
Steiner-Wilcoxson is the proud parent of three children, Easton, Auburn and Rylee.