Stephanie DeFeo takes over as the program’s full-time co-head coach, as announced by head coach James DeFeo on July 1, bringing over 15 years of collegiate coaching experience to the job.
“Today is a great day for Mercer softball thanks to the addition of Stephanie to our coaching staff,” James DeFeo said. “Our program has immediately gotten better with her presence here. With her knowledge and expertise, I am confident that we have taken a big step towards building a championship program.”
Stephanie DeFeo comes to Macon by way of Purdue, where she spent last season as an assistant for head coach Kim Maher. Prior to her time with the Boilermakers, DeFeo worked for six years as an assistant and associate head coach at Ball State in the Mid-American Conference.
At Ball State, DeFeo helped guide the team to a 204-145 record en route to three Mid-American Conference championships in six years. The Cardinals won the regular season title in 2009, 2010 and 2012 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament after winning the MAC Tournament title in 2010.
DeFeo has coached some outstanding student-athletes during her career, including two Academic All-Americans and three MAC Players of the Year while at Ball State. This past season, she helped guide Purdue’s Andie Varsho to Easton All-American honors as the Boilermakers went 23-32 overall.
A talented all-around coach, DeFeo began her coaching career as an assistant coach at Southeastern Louisiana in 1997. After stints as an assistant at Texas-San Antonio (1998-99) and Buffalo (1999-2000), she directed the softball program at East Tennessee State as the head coach for the 2001 and 2002 seasons. In the program's inaugural campaign in 2001, the team posted a 14-35 record (9-11 Southern Conference) with the nine conference wins being the most by a first-year team in conference history. The 2002 squad earned a 25-32 record (9-12 SoCon) and placed fifth in the regular season and fourth in the conference tournament.
DeFeo was a three-time All-American and a three-time CoSIDA/GTE Academic All-American at Louisiana-Lafayette (1993-1997), while playing first base and designated player. She set school records at Louisiana-Lafayette for single-season home runs (15) as well as career home runs (43), slugging percentage (.676) and RBI (187).
After completing her collegiate playing career, DeFeo played for the Orlando Wahoos in the Women's Professional Softball League in the summer of 1997 and played for the Durham Dragons in the summers of 1998 and 1999.
DeFeo earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Louisiana-Lafayette in 1997 and is currently working on a master's degree through a distance program at East Carolina.