Following a storied career from Margie Knight, Salisbury University chose Lacey Lord to take over the reins of the softball program.
Like Knight, Lord’s time with Salisbury began as a player. She was one of the top pitchers in Division III softball and was named the Capital Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year in 2003.
Lord holds the all-time pitching wins and strikeout record with 105 wins and 1,096 strikeouts. She was also an All-American in each of her four seasons at SU.
She developed her coaching career as a grad assistant under Knight in 2007. Lord spent two years as the pitching coach and took part in the recruiting process.
On June 10, 2020, Salisbury University Director of Athletics and Campus Recreation Dr. Gerry DiBartolo stated his excitement for Lord accepting the position.
“She was one of the most decorated student-athletes to ever graduate from SU and continued that success in her coaching career,” DiBartolo said in a news release. “We are excited that she is coming home to help continue the great tradition of SU softball.”
Lord acknowledged that she has big shoes to fill for the program.
But she said that as much as she wants to live up to Knight’s legacy, she has also accepted that she will have her own path to coaching the Sea Gulls.
“I mean [Knight's] a legend, I’m following my own coach, who is a legend and I did play for her,” Lord said. “I also think it’s important for me to recognize while I played for her, and I think the world of her, I’m not her.”
Lord has now returned to Salisbury after 12 seasons at the helm of the Washington College softball team. In that span, she was a three-time Centennial Conference Coach of the Year and took a program with only four winning seasons in the prior 24 years to seven Centennial Tournament appearances.
Lord said that her goal with the Gulls is to make sure she continues to bring national recognition to SU. According to Lord, this all starts with recruiting.
“We have this national recognition, and I will want to make sure I’m continuing to get the right recruits and the right people that fit the mold to help us get back to the national championship,” Lord said.
In the midst of COVID-19, the Sea Gulls have finalized their 2021 roster. Facing the pandemic during the recruiting process has given Lord the extra challenge of ensuring that her student-athletes and staff are following the guidelines.
When Lord was first named the head coach, she expressed that it was strange being on campus without her staff or players beside her.
“On my actual first day, my daughter had gotten tested for COVID-19, so I couldn’t even show up,” Lord said. “So, it’s nice now that people are back on campus, and we’re getting that personal interactions.”
Moving forward into the spring season, Lord is making sure that her players are keeping their heads up.
Lord feels that it is necessary to communicate with her players and build a relationship among each other in the midst of the pandemic.
“The biggest thing for me right now is trying to keep everyone’s chins up and let them know that we are going to get through this,” Lord said. “It is going to take time, I’m still meeting all the girls … so just letting them get to know me and that I’m here for them and our goals don’t change in the spring.”
Lord made it known that this spring season is going to be unlike past seasons.
She said that they are still going to prepare to work hard and make a push to get to the national championship.
“My goal personally as a coach is to win a national championship, and I want to be able to do that here, at a place that means so much to me,” Lord said. “For me it’s not just focusing on that goal, it’s the process to get there, so the goal can fulfill itself.”
By DANIELLE TYLER
Featured photo from Sports Information.