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Auburn names Chris and Kate Malveaux co-head softball coaches

<p>Amelia Lech (#34) celebrates homerun with teammates against Virginia Tech at Jane B. Moore Field on February 9th 2024.</p>

Amelia Lech (#34) celebrates homerun with teammates against Virginia Tech at Jane B. Moore Field on February 9th 2024.

Chris and Kate Malveaux have been named Auburn Softball co-head coaches, the program announced on Wednesday morning. Both come to Auburn after serving as assistant coaches at Tennessee where they helped the Lady Volunteer program to back-to-back Southeastern Conference regular season titles in 2023 and 2024 and a Women’s College World Series appearance last season.

“In meeting with Chris and Kate, it was obvious that their synergy was an indomitable force. Their contributions to Tennessee’s success over the past three seasons are undeniable,” said Auburn Athletics Director John Cohen. “We’re so excited to welcome Chris, Kate and their family to Auburn.”

Chris and Kate Malveaux have significantly impacted the Tennessee Lady Vols softball program over the past three seasons, contributing to 136 wins — the second most by an SEC team and tied for the 10th most nationally. 

Chris, an offensive mind, helped six players earn All-SEC honors, including a third straight All-SEC First Team selection for McKenna Gibson. Under his leadership, All-American KiKi Milloy became Tennessee’s record-holder in home runs, runs scored and total bases. Three of the program’s top five single-season home run totals were achieved under his guidance.

In 2023, the Lady Vols' potent offense, averaging 6.87 runs per game, was the best in the SEC and third nationally. Tennessee scored 419 runs, surpassing 400 runs for the first time since 2016, and set a single-season school record for home runs with 25, led by Milloy. Gibson had a breakout season, achieving career-best stats and earning NFCA First Team All-America honors alongside Milloy.

“We are incredibly humbled and excited to be a part of the Auburn Family,” Chris said. “Kate and I are overly thankful to Karen Weekly and the entire Tennessee family for their sacrifices, opportunities and guidance these past three years. It is an honor to have the opportunity to lead this storied Auburn program into its next stage and are forever grateful for the trust of John Cohen and his incredible staff for believing in us. We can’t wait to get to work! WAR EAGLE!!”

Chris’ previous roles include assistant and associate head coach positions at Missouri, where he significantly improved the Tigers' offense. During his tenure, Missouri achieved a .320 batting average in 2021, the second-highest in the SEC, and saw notable individual performances, including Brooke Wilmes’ All-SEC first team selection and Jazmyn Rollin’s recognition as a Top 25 finalist for the NFCA/Schutt Sports Freshman of the Year. 

He has also coached at Kansas, Louisiana, Bradley and McNeese State, contributing to numerous conference titles and NCAA appearances.

Kate Malveaux, who joined Tennessee’s staff in June 2021, was promoted to assistant coach for the 2024 season. She specialized in coaching catchers and baserunners, helping first-year catcher Sophia Nugent secure All-SEC honors and leading Tennessee catchers to commit only two errors in 2024. The Lady Vols consistently ranked in the top five in the SEC for stolen bases per game during her tenure.

In 2023, she helped transition Giulia Koutsoyanopulos from the outfield to catcher, leading Tennessee to an SEC regular-season and tournament sweep and a trip to the Women’s College World Series national semifinals. The Lady Vols achieved a top-five SEC ranking in stolen bases per game in each of her three seasons on staff.

“Chris and I are both honored and humbled to lead this new era of Auburn Softball,” Kate said. “Thank you to John Cohen and all of Auburn Athletics for their faith in us to take on this role and support the program in such an impactful way. Also, thank you to Karen Weekly, the Lady Vol Softball staff and student-athletes for the opportunity and support of not only us but also our family. Auburn has proved that it can compete on the national stage, and we are excited to build, develop and grow this program into a national powerhouse.”

Kate, a former standout player at Bradley, began her coaching career there and later served as Missouri’s director of operations. 

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Patrick Bingham | Sports Editor

Patrick is a sophomore from Auburn, Alabama, double majoring in journalism and marketing. He started with The Plainsman in fall 2022.

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