The University of North Alabama Lions Softball Camps
Head Coach Ashley Cozart
Ashley Cozart enters her seventh season as head softball coach at North Alabama and is the sixth coach in the school's history after taking over the helm of the program in July of 2013.
After her first five seasons resulted in five consecutive trips to the NCAA Division II Tournament, Cozart continued to guide the Lions to new heights during their first season at the Division I level. UNA posted a 26-20 record in its first Division I season in 2019, earning a No. 4 seed in the ASUN Conference Tournament after being picked to finish seventh in the preseason coaches' poll.
Megan Garst was named ASUN Pitcher of the Year after setting a school record with a 0.83 ERA on the year. The junior also led the ASUN in strikeouts-per-seven innings, and earned a first team all-conference and third team all-region honors. She was a two-time ASUN Pitcher of the Week and became the first pitcher in UNA history to toss consecutive no-hitters, blanking Liberty and Jacksonville in consecutive games.
Other ASUN honors for UNA in its first Division I season included Veronica Westfall (Second Team), Lexie Harper (All-Freshman Team) and Alex Brown (All-Academic).
With only two trips to the NCAA Tournament in school history prior to her arrival, Cozart guided the Lions to five consecutive tournament berths in her first five seasons at the helm of the program. She is 431-131 in her 11-year coaching career, including a 240-86 mark at UNA.
The 2016 season culminated with the program's first NCAA Division II National Championship. The championship run included the program's first Gulf South Conference (regular season and tournament) title in 29 seasons. UNA also won NCAA South 1 regional and Super-Regional champions along the way to clinch a spot in the 2016 Women's College World Series in Denver, Colorado.
At the championships, the Lions went 5-1, posting a 4-1 victory over Humboldt State in the title game to cap a 60-7 season. During the run, UNA broke or tied 30 team and individual records at the single-season and career levels. the Lions also broke or tied four GSC records and also set a new attendance mark for the year.
Cozart coached 27 all-conference, 20 all-region and six All-America selections during her career. In the classroom, the Lions have also posted program-high grade point averages and landed team's second-ever Academic All-American with Harlie Barkley in 2016. Amy Carden was also the recipient of the 2016 Elite 90 Award, given to player at the championship location with the highest GPA.
Following the 2016 season, Cozart was named GSC Coach of the Year. The NFCA also named Cozart and UNA assistant coach Whitney Hawkins the Regional and National Coaching Staff of the Year. UNA's 2018 teams also won the GSC title and hosted the NCAA South 2 Regional.
Cozart came to UNA after winning more than 81 percent of her games as head coach Lindsey Wilson College, where she guided the Blue Raiders to the NAIA national tournament four straight seasons. In four years, she compiled a 191-45 record, including a 50-10 mark during the 2013 campaign.
Under Cozart, Lindsey Wilson won four straight Mid-South Conference regular season and tournament titles. She was also a three-time MSC Coach of the Year from 2010-12.
After being hired at LWC in 2009, Cozart had an immediate impact on the program as the Blue Raiders increased their win total from 26 the previous season to 47 during the 2010 campaign.
Lindsey Wilson advanced to pool play in the NAIA national tournament three straight seasons before reaching bracket play last year, ending the season with a 5-1 loss to No. 1 Auburn-Montgomery. LWC set a school record for wins in a season and produced seven all-conference selections, including the MSC Pitcher of the Year.
During Cozart’s tenure, the Blue Raiders were consistently ranked in the NAIA Top 25 poll, including their highest ranking of No. 12 in the final regular-season poll of the 2013 season. Overall, LWC has been ranked in the Top 25 for 15 consecutive weeks dating back to the middle of the 2012 season. The team also produced an 86-18 record in conference games.
Individual player honors at the conference and national levels were also abundant at Lindsey Wilson during Cozart’s time at the helm of the program. Over the last four years, the Blue Raiders produced one MSC Player of the Year, four Pitchers of the Year and 17 first team all-conference selections. LWC also had six NAIA All-Americans.
Prior to arriving at Lindsey Wilson, Cozart served one season as the assistant coach at Lee University. The Flames produced a 39-14 record and a share of the Southern States Athletic Conference regular-season championship in 2009. Prior to Lee, Cozart spent two seasons as the head coach at Antioch High School.
As a student-athlete, Cozart helped Trevecca Nazarene University to a pair of top-five finishes at the NAIA Softball World Series. She was selected as the TranSouth Conference Freshman of the Year in 2004 and went on to be a four-time all-conference and all-region selection. She broke the school career record for hits and doubles and is ranked in the program’s top five in runs batted in, home runs, batting average and runs scored. In 2014, she was selected to the Trevecca Athletic Hall of Fame.
She graduated from Trevecca in 2007 and is married to Shaun Cozart. The two have two sons, Cooper and Tucker.