Softball Season Preview: Coaches, Schedule

Head coach Windy Thees is entering her third year leading the Ole Miss softball program.

Head coach Windy Thees is entering her third year leading the Ole Miss softball program.

Jan. 27, 2014

This is part one of a five-part series previewing the 2014 Ole Miss softball season. Part one focuses on the Rebels’ coaching staff and schedule.

OXFORD, Miss. – It is often said competition breeds success. With more talent on the team, more individuals push each other and thus get better by playing against one another. With eight of nine starters returning, including the entire starting infield, the Ole Miss softball team has a lot of competition and a lot of talent heading into the 2014 season.

For Ole Miss head coach Windy Thees, who is entering her third year leading the Rebels, figuring out how to use the Rebels’ depth effectively and making in-game switches is a problem she’s happy to have.

“For us, it’s going to be a lot of fun this year to set up lineups and make changes throughout the year,” Thees said. “As coaches, our challenge is how to use our lineup more effectively, our depth more effectively, and to get wins by making switches at the right time.”


For the third consecutive season, Thees will lead the Rebels along with associate head coach Mike Perniciaro and assistant coach Julie Meyer. Together, the trio has increased Ole Miss’ win total in each of the past two years, and have set numerous program records, including hits, walks, stolen bases and fielding percentage in 2013. The Rebels also tied the program’s longest winning streak last season and hosted the largest crowd in the Ole Miss Softball Complex’s history.

“The three of us really have a good thing going,” Thees said. “We understand each other really well, we all know the game and have different viewpoints, and we’re not afraid to share them. And we all want what’s best for our team. I really like our different views that come together to be successful.”

While the staff can sometimes have different philosophies and viewpoints on style of play, that doesn’t mean they’re on different pages. Thees said their ability to bring up different ideas keeps things fresh and makes the game more exciting.

“Being able to have the freedom to communicate thoughts or ideas when you learn something new with each other – and whether we agree to go forward and try something new or not is something else – is great. As a coaching staff and as a coach of a sport, you have to continually look for new things, look for ways to improve and different ways to do things that may even be better than what you’ve always done.”

By working together as a unit for three straight years, the coaching staff has developed a comfort in expressing their ideas and beliefs. Thees said their freedom to communicate without worrying about phrasing it a certain way has allowed them to communicate faster as well.

“I trust Julie to do all the things I assign her and I worry about it much less. Same goes for Mike. And they worry about me less,” Thees said. “But we all always have each other’s backs to make sure we’re all getting our jobs done. It’s great. It’s great having a staff you trust 100 percent.”


As is the case every season in the Southeastern Conference, the Rebels face a challenging schedule of opponents in 2014. After opening the season in Fort Myers, Fla., on Feb. 7, Ole Miss will span the country, traveling to Charleston on the East Coast, and San Diego on the West Coast.

“We’re playing some really solid competition that is going to get us ready for conference play,” Thees said. “We’re playing at some beautiful venues and some universities that have really made a commitment to softball, which I love.”

Ole Miss opens the season at the FGCU/Four Points by Sheraton Invitational on the campus of Florida Gulf Coast University, before then traveling to Charleston, S.C., to compete in the College of Charleston Classic.

The Rebels’ home opener comes Feb. 21-23 with the Red and Blue Classic. After winning the annual tournament last season, Ole Miss will welcome in Bowling Green, Buffalo, Northern Colorado, Saint Louis and Tennessee-Martin this year.

“When you host a tournament your job is to win it,” Thees said. “You have to come out here, defend it and win it. We have a tough crew of opponents coming in again this year, but our team needs to rise up. It will be our first time at home, and we need to play well in front of our home crowd and make Ole Miss proud. We need to show them how much growth we’ve had over the last few years.”

Ole Miss will then fly to California to compete in the San Diego Classic I on the campus of San Diego State University.

“It’s great competition out there and teams we don’t typically get to play down here in the Southeast,” Thees said. “Fresno State has such a rich history, as does San Diego State. It’s really good softball. Going out there is going to be great and that will be the week right before conference.”

In SEC play, Ole Miss will host No. 6 Alabama, Arkansas (which is receiving votes in the preseason USA Today/NFCA Coaches top 25), No. 12 Kentucky and No. 17 LSU. On the road, the Rebels travel to No. 4 Florida, South Carolina (which is hosting this year’s SEC Tournament), No. 14 Missouri and No. 1 Tennessee.

“It’s tough,” Thees said. “Whenever you get your pool of the eight teams you’re playing and the four you’re not, it’s like, ‘OK, here we go.’ We’re going to be playing top-ranked teams week-in and week-out.”

For all Ole Miss softball news and information, go to and follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissSoftball and on Facebook at Ole Miss Softball.

Ole Miss Softball Promo 2014 from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.

Ole Miss Gear
    • Loading Tweets...
      1 second ago
    • Ratings, Exposure Huge for Ole Miss-Alabama

      Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - Football

      Ole Miss' historic win over Alabama last Saturday was not only popular with members of Rebel Nation, it was among the most-watched college football games of the year.The Rebels' thrilling 43-37 victory over the Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium was the... read more

    • Rebels Pass First Test in Search of Playoff Berth

      Sunday, September 20, 2015 - Football

      By Steven Oubre, Ole Miss Athletics Media RelationsThe road to the College Football Playoff includes many tests along the way. The Ole Miss Rebels (3-0, 1-0 SEC) just passed their first, proving that they are a legitimate contender after knocking... read more

    • Kelly Makes Statement in Big Rebel Win

      Saturday, September 12, 2015 - Football

      By Steven Oubre, Ole Miss Athletics Media Relations Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;... read more

    • Big Plays Highlight Season-Opening Win

      Saturday, September 5, 2015 - Football

      Offense, defense and special teams. Ole Miss dominated all three aspects of the game as the 15th-ranked Rebels routed UT Martin 76-3 in the season opener. The 60,186 fans, mostly dressed in white, anticipated an exciting start to the 2015... read more

    • Time to Take a Stand

      Monday, August 31, 2015 -

      It's finally week! It's been 242 days since the Ole Miss Rebels last took to the gridiron for a clash of the helmets. After a successful 2014 campaign in which Ole Miss knocked off a No. 1-ranked team... read more

    • Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge to Air on ESPNU Aug. 1

      Thursday, July 30, 2015 -

      Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE ATLANTA - On Saturday, fans can tune in to see the Rebels duo of Head Football Coach Hugh Freeze and former Ole Miss basketball player Sean Tuohy compete in the Chick-fil-A... read more

    • Rebels Emerge on Four Watch Lists This Week

      Friday, July 17, 2015 -

      Only 50 days until The Grove is full, the constant shouts of "Hotty Toddy" are in the air, and football kicks off 100 years in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium! Looking forward to this upcoming college football season, seven Rebels were named to... read more

    • Football Rebels All Over First Week of Watch List Releases

      Friday, July 10, 2015 -

      As we near the 2015 college football season, national organizations have started to release watch lists for their respective awards. Through the first week of watch lists being released, multiple Rebels have been announced as players that fans need to... read more

    • Engram, Hilton and Johnson to Represent Ole Miss at SEC Football Media Days

      Wednesday, July 8, 2015 -

      Along with head coach Hugh Freeze, three Rebels will represent Ole Miss at the annual SEC Football Media Days next week. Junior Evan Engram, just named to the John Mackey Award Watch List for college football's most outstanding tight end,... read more

    • Five Rebels Tabbed Preseason All-SEC in The Birmingham News

      Tuesday, June 30, 2015 -

      Five Ole Miss Rebels were chosen as preseason All-SEC selections by some of the people who work closest with the student-athletes, the football media relations directors. The 14 football media relations directors of the Southeastern Conference institutions voted in the... read more

    • Lindy's Sports Gives Seven Rebels Preseason Recognition

      Wednesday, June 24, 2015 -

      The preseason accolades just don't stop for the Ole Miss football team. Everywhere you look, Rebels can be found on preseason All-America teams. Lindy's Sports recognized seven Rebels for preseason honors, including four All-Americans. Four Ole Miss Football Rebels were... read more

    • Five Rebels Named Preseason All-America by Athlon Sports

      Tuesday, June 23, 2015 -

      With the season just 74 days away, members of the 2015 Ole Miss football team continue to earn recognition on Preseason All-America lists. Athlon Sports, the latest media outlet to release its 2015 college football preseason All-America team, gave five... read more

    • Sporting News Tabs Four Rebels to Preseason All-America Teams

      Monday, June 15, 2015 - Football

      Preseason All-America football teams continue to roll in, and Ole Miss has been well represented each time.Today, the Sporting News unveiled its preseason All-America first and second teams, which includes a total of four Rebels.OT Laremy Tunsil and DT Robert... read more

    • Athlon Sports Names Nine Rebels Preseason All-SEC

      Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - Football

      Individual preseason accolades continue to pile up for the Ole Miss football team as college football magazines look toward the 2015 season. Athlon Sports is the latest magazine to release its preseason all-conference teams, June 10; the magazine named nine... read more

    • Eleven Rebels Garner Phil Steele Preseason Honors

      Monday, June 1, 2015 - Football

      The start of summer heat and vacations is also the start of another tradition - preseason college football magazines.One of the first to produce a magazine every year is Phil Steele, whose 2015 version includes about as many Ole Miss... read more