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South Carolina softball coach Ashley Chastain is hiring four players from Charlotte

By meerna Jun18,2024
South Carolina softball coach Ashley Chastain is hiring four players from Charlotte

COLUMBIA — Less than a week after being hired as South Carolina softball coach, Ashley Chastain has assembled her staff.

On Monday, the school announced the hiring of four members of its coaching staff, all of whom previously worked with Chastain in Charlotte.

Katie Rietkovich Browder will be associate head coach, and Jody Davidson and C.J. Leighton have been hired as assistant coaches. Sidney Kane will take over as chief operating officer.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to hire a staff of incredible coaches and people,” Chastain said in a school release. “I have tremendous confidence in their ability to recruit the best players in the country and provide them with unparalleled exposure and player development plans throughout their Gamecock careers.”

Here’s what you need to know about Chastain’s staff.

Katie Rietkovich Browder, associate head coach

Browder has spent the last 10 years as a college coach. She coached at other schools throughout the SEC and also played college softball in the SEC.

  • Ole Miss (2016–18, 2021–23)
  • Minnesota (2019–20)
  • Savannah State (2015)
  • She played for Georgia from 2010-11, when the Bulldogs finished third in the 2010 Women’s College World Series.

Browder’s father and sister also have ties to the Gamecocks. Her dad, Ty Rietkovich, played tight end at South Carolina (1980-83) and worked on the football staff (1984-86). Her sister Caroline (Rietkovich) Coleman was a cheerleader and currently works on coach Shane Beamer’s staff as the football operations coordinator.

Jody Davidson, assistant coach

Davidson spent five years in Charlotte, three years as an assistant and two years as a volunteer assistant coach. He previously played for Ole Miss and the Rebels in two Super Regionals (2017 and 2019) and in their 2017 SEC Tournament Championship.

  • Director of Softball Operations, Ole Miss (2016-19)
  • Manager, Ole Miss (2014-15)

CJ Leighton, assistant coach

Leighton has spent the last two seasons in Charlotte, spending the 2024 season as an assistant pitching coach and the 2023 season as a volunteer assistant.

  • Team leader (undergraduate), Kentucky, four years
  • Graduate Assistant, Kentucky, 1 year

During their time at Kentucky, the Wildcats went to four NCAA Tournaments and three Super Regionals.

RESPONSIBLE READER: South Carolina softball hires former pitcher Ashley Chastain as Charlotte coach

Sidney Kane, director of softball operations

Kane spent one season in Charlotte as director of softball operations. She previously worked at Florida State as a director of softball operations intern.

Lulu Kesin covers South Carolina athletics for The Greenville News and the USA TODAY Network. Email her at [email protected] and follow her on X, formerly known as Twitter, @Lulukesin

By meerna

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