Coming off a trip to the Women’s College World Series in her 21st season as the Georgia softball head coach, Lu Harris-Champer has announced that she will retire.
“I am beyond grateful for my time here in Athens,” Harris-Champer said. “This decision came down to family. It was the right time for me to step away from the team and institution I love.”
Harris-Champer has been a collegiate coach for 25 seasons dating back to 1996. She concludes her career with 1,168 victories, good enough to be among the top-25 all-time in NCAA history.
As just the second softball coach in Georgia history, Harris-Champer racked up 959 wins with two SEC championships and one SEC Tournament title. The Bulldogs have also made 19-straight NCAA Tournament appearances under Harris-Champer, with five trips to Oklahoma City for the Women’s College World Series.
“We were so lucky to have [Harris-Champer] lead our program from infancy to relevancy,” said Georgia athletic director Josh Brooks. “She built a strong foundation that we can build on and left a legacy of players and coaches that compete with integrity, toughness and pride.”
While under Harris-Champer’s tenure, Georgia players have earned All-American status 33 times as well as All-SEC a total of 80 times. She has produced the SEC Player of the Year once, SEC Pitcher of the Year twice and SEC Freshman of the Year once as well.
A national search to find the Bulldogs next head coach has begun as associate head coach Tony Baldwin will serve as the interim head coach for the time being.