OKLAHOMA CITY –– USA Softball is proud to announce the assistant coaches selected to lead the Women’s National Team (WNT) at the 2022 World Games held in Birmingham, Alabama. Joined by Head Coach Heather Tarr (Head Coach at Washington), Cindy Ball-Malone (Head Coach at UCF), Tony Baldwin (Head Coach at Georgia) and Tim Walton (Head Coach at Florida) will complete the World Games coaching staff after coaching alongside each other en route to a gold medal finish at the 2019 U-19 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women’s World Cup in Lima, Peru.
“We are extremely excited to have these three coaches join Coach Tarr at the helm of our 2022 Women’s National Team program,” said USA Softball Chief Executive Officer, Craig Cress. “They each bring a wealth of knowledge and experience in the game and garner qualifications that speak volumes to their ability of leading athletes at the highest level. Our 2019 U-19 Women’s National Team achieved one of the highest accolades with this coaching staff, and I look forward to seeing what our 2022 Women’s National Team can achieve with their leadership. Congratulations to all three coaches on this much-deserved selection.”
“The coaching staff that has been selected for the 2022 World Games is a combination of experienced Head Coaches at the Division I level,” said Tarr. “I trust that Coach Ball-Malone, Coach Baldwin and Coach Walton will relate to our athletes well while working together to continue laying the foundation for these women and this sport in years to come. I look forward to coaching alongside these three for our second stint together after leading the U-19 Women’s National Team to a gold medal at the 2019 WBSC World Championship and can’t wait to get started working towards the gold medal in Birmingham.”
Currently in her fourth season as Head Coach for the University of Central Florida (UCF), Ball-Malone has led the Knights to six appearances in the 2022 ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll following a standout 2021 season with three wins over top-five teams and a NCAA Tournament appearance. Ball-Malone holds the second longest winning streak in UCF program history with 18-straight victories while garnering a 67-25-1 record (.726 winning percentage) on home soil in Orlando, Fla. Prior to joining UCF in 2018, Ball-Malone led the Boise State softball program for four seasons where she guided the team to its first-ever back-to-back postseason appearance (2017, 2018) in addition to being crowned 2018 Mountain West Champions – another first in program history.
“I am honored to wear the Red, White and Blue once again while representing our country on an international stage,” said Ball-Malone. “It is such a privilege to work alongside Coach Tarr, Coach Baldwin and Coach Walton as they are prime examples of the greatest minds and competitors our sport has to offer. The women who will be representing our country are not only the best in our game, but truly amazing people both on and off the field. We love competing, we love our sport, and we look forward to showcasing our talent while growing the game of softball. “
Previously serving as an assistant coach (2014-2016) and Associate Head Coach (2017-2021) for the University of Georgia, Baldwin became the third Head Coach in program history with his recent promotion in June 2021. In his first stint at the helm of the Bulldog softball program, Baldwin has led the University of Georgia to a 29-5 record midway through the 2022 NCAA Division I softball season while being tabbed in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll for eight-straight weeks. Currently in his tenth year on the Georgia coaching staff, Baldwin has helped lead the Bulldogs to five NCAA Super Regionals and three NCAA Women’s College World Series (WCWS) appearances.
“I am humbled and incredibly thankful to be selected to represent the Red, White, and Blue,” said Baldwin. “There is no greater honor than being able to represent your country. On top of that, to be able to once again work alongside Coach Tarr, Coach Walton, and Coach Ball-Malone is so exciting. I can’t wait to meet the team and go get after it this summer! Let’s go!”
Walton prepares for his third appearance as an assistant coach for the Red, White and Blue having served alongside Tarr, Ball-Malone and Baldwin at the 2019 U-19 WBSC World Cup in addition to helping lead the 2015 Junior WNT to a gold medal finish at the WBSC Junior Women’s World Championship. Collegiately, Walton is currently in his 17th season at the University of Florida where he’s compiled an 867-187 coaching record with five SEC Coach of the Year honors. The long-time Gator coach has led the Orange and Blue to 361 school records, numerous SEC records, 15 NCAA Regional appearances, 13 Super Regionals, 10 WCWS berths and two WCWS National Championship titles. Prior to arriving at Florida, Walton led the Wichita State Shockers for three seasons where he amassed a 123-64 record while taking his team to the NCAA Tournament in 2005. In Walton’s 20-year Head Coaching career, he’s compiled an over record of 990 wins and 251 losses.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve as an assistant coach for the USA Softball Women’s National Team at the 2022 World Games in Birmingham this summer,” said Walton. “I’ve been fortunate to coach the U-19 Women’s National Teams to WBSC World Cup Championships in 2015 & 2019, and I look forward to working with another special group of athletes this summer with Team USA. I would like to thank the USA Softball Board of Directors, along with Chief Sport Development/Performance Officer Chris Sebren and Head Coach Heather Tarr for bringing me on to help coach this talented roster.”
The full coaching staffs for the Canada Cup and Japan All-Star Series will be announced at later date. For more information on the USA Softball National Team program, visit USASoftball.com.