The 2017 season will be the third for Samantha Honeycutt as the head coach of the Avila Softball program, and Honeycutt will be once again looking to raise the bar after two of the most successful seasons in Avila history.
Honeycutt led the Eagles to a 35-20-2 record in 2016, setting the program record for wins in a season. In her first two seasons at Avila, she has won 67 games and has led her team to the Heart Tournament Championship game in both seasons, earning the program's first trip to the NAIA World Series Opening Round in 2015.
After she was announced as the head coach of the Avila Softball program on June 9, 2014, Honeycutt went to work to change the culture of the program from a perennial bottom of the pack team in the conference to a confident group that expected to win, and that has paid dividends in her first two seasons. The Eagles went from 11 wins in 2014 to 32 wins in 2015 and 35 in 2016, including back-to-back 13 win seasons in Heart play, a program record.
Honeycutt led the Eagles to their best season in program history, capped off with an undefeated conference tournament championship run and an automatic berth into the NAIA World Series Opening Round in 2015. Her 32 wins are the most ever by a head coach in their first season for a program that began in 1989.
Honeycutt coached 6 All-Heart selections in her first season, and she was also named Co-Coach of the Year in the conference in 2015. In 2016, 4 more Eagles were named All-Heart.
Prior to coming to Avila, Honeycutt, a Pleasant Hill, Mo. native, was the head assistant coach from 2011-14 at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kan.
In her four seasons at JCCC, Honeycutt helped coach 17 All-East Jayhawk Conference and 21 All-Region VI/District D performers, as well as 2 NJCAA All-Americans. Her teams also finished with an overall record of 142-60.
Before becoming the head assistant coach at JCCC, Honeycutt spent 2 seasons as a Graduate Assistant at Missouri State University while finishing her degree.
A former standout first baseman and pitcher at the NCAA Division I level, Honeycutt played for the Missouri Tigers in 2003 and 2004, then finished her career at Missouri State playing for the Bears 2005 and 2006 squads.
Honeycutt was named the MVC Player of the Year in her senior season in 2006, becoming just the third player in school history to earn that award. Along with receiving the league’s player of the year award and first-team all-conference recognition, she was also named to the MVC Scholar Athletes first-team and ESPN the Magazine /CoSIDA All-District VII team.
That season, Honeycutt led the Bears in average (.351), hits (60), home runs (10), RBI (34), total bases (101, school record) and putouts (389). She also posted a 5-4 record as a pitcher for the Bears, posting a 1.28 ERA, helping lead the Bears to a school record 40 wins overall, including 18 wins in conference play, a MVC postseason tournament title and a berth in the NCAA Regional.