Courtesy: Wesley Hitt / Arkansas
Larabee led the Razorbacks to their first NCAA Regional Final in 2012.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Following a season highlighted by an NCAA regional appearance, including a win over the No. 1 national seed in the NCAA Tournament, the University of Arkansas has extended the contract of Head Softball Coach Mike Larabee for two additional seasons, it was announced by Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long.
With the extension, Larabee has an agreement to coach the Razorbacks through the 2014-15 season. In 2012, Arkansas posted 29 wins and advanced to an NCAA Tournament Regional final for the first time in school history. The Razorbacks defeated the No. 1 overall tournament seed California 3-2 on the Bears' home field before the host team rallied to win the regional.
"We are pleased with the continued progress of our softball program under Coach Larabee's leadership," Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long said. "As the Southeastern Conference continues to emerge as one of the nation's best softball conferences, success within the league will allow us to be noted among the very best programs in the country. With last season's postseason success combined with competing in the nation's premiere softball facility, Bogle Park, we believe that we are on the right path to even greater success in the SEC and nationally. "
Larabee is entering his fourth season at Arkansas and has led the program to steady improvement each year as head coach. With 29 wins in the 2012 season, Larabee has now earned 70 wins at Arkansas and 184 wins overall in his first seven years as a head coach at the collegiate level.
In 2012, Arkansas doubled its total wins and conference wins from the previous season and more than tripled its home run output with 60 on the season. The improvement is a product of Larabee's successful national recruiting efforts. Last season, the team boasted two All-SEC Freshman team performers, pitcher Kimmy Beasley and SEC freshman of the year Devon Wallace. Wallace also took home a first-team All-SEC award, the first Razorback in history to earn that honor. This season Larabee was able to pull in six talented recruits from six different states including the Mississippi Gatorade Player of the Year, Kelly Young and the Illinois all-time hits leader, Stephanie Canfield.
The on-field success continued this fall as the team finished its fall season with a record of 7-1 and was concluded with a perfect game from senior pitcher Chelsea Cohen.
Larabee has also been successful on the national coaching scene. During the summer of 2010, Larabee served as an assistant coach for the USA Softball Futures team. He assisted the team at the 2010 KFC World Cup of Softball presented by Six Flags where the Futures faced 2008 Olympic champion Japan, Canada and three-time Olympic champion Team USA. Larabee helped coach the Futures to a bronze medal at the World Cup.
The Razorbacks start their spring schedule in St. George, Utah on February 8. The first home game for the Razorbacks will be at the Arkansas invitational on February 22 at Bogle Park.
For more information regarding Razorback Softball, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
(Source: University of Arkansas Athletic Media Relations)