DWU softball announces hiring of Tommy Downs as new head coach

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Sep. 2—MITCHELL — There's a new face at the helm for Dakota Wesleyan softball.

DWU announced the hiring of Tommy Downs as the new head coach for the Tigers softball program on Friday. He replaces Derek Lien, who was dismissed in July after two seasons leading the Tigers.

Prior to his arrival at DWU, Downs was the head coach at Embry-Riddle University in Prescott, Arizona, where he led the squad to a 38-8 record and earned a place in the NAIA national softball top-25 poll for the first time in school history. Prior to being the head coach there, he was an assistant coach for one season, where he handled recruiting.

"I am extremely honored and blessed for the opportunity to be a part of the Dakota Wesleyan University family, and to coach the Tigers softball team," Downs said in a statement released by DWU. "I am excited to work with our current players and build a strong competitive culture that will produce successful athletes on and off the field. I look forward to building a winning program here at DWU, and competing in the GPAC."

Downs was also a hitting instructor at the high school level before moving up to college. While at Valley Vista High School in Surprise, Arizona, he helped improve the team's batting average to .375. His first official day as head coach will be Sept. 6.