One of two South Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame softball players comes back to her alma mater for the 2009 season, as Tiff Tootle joins the staff of Joyce Compton as a volunteer assistant coach. Among Tootle's duties this season will be working with the slap hitters for the Gamecocks.
Tootle spent nine seasons at NCAA Division II Columbus State (Ga.) University, compiling a 329-134 record (.711) as the Cougars' boss. Under Tootle's guidance, the program won two regular-season and three tournament Peach Belt Conference titles. Her 2007 squad was ranked No. 1 in the nation by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) and strung together a 38-game winning streak. That 2007 squad advanced to the Division II Championship, finishing third in the country. The NFCA again honored the work done in Columbus, as Tootle and her staff earned South Atlantic Region Coaching Staff of the Year. Overall, her squads made the NCAA Tournament on five occasions.
Prior to her stint with the Cougars, Tootle spent two years at North Florida Community College. The Lady Sentinels went 82-39-2 during those two seasons, finishing fifth in the Florida Community College Activities Association in 1999. Tootle also spent time at NCAA Division III member Trenton (N.J.) State College as an assistant, helping the team to a national runner-up finish in 1995 and the Division III national title in 1996.
Tootle lettered four years under Compton at South Carolina and still holds a bevy of school records. Her .432 batting average, 351 hits, 207 runs and 114 stolen bases all still stand as career marks. The 2006 Hall of Fame inductee also still holds five single-season records in the Carolina record books. She is one of four Gamecock softball players to earn All-America certificates for three different seasons.
The Tiff Tootle File