Ashley Gilland was named as assistant coach in July 2012 and begins her fourth season with the Racer softball program. As the primary hitting coach for the Racers, Gilland led Murray State to the OVC's second-best batting average in both 2014 and 2015, including a school record of .315 in 2015.
She has also been instrumental in the development of 2015 OVC Player of the Year Jessica Twaddle, who saw her average rise almost .100 points from her freshman to sophomore seasons. Twaddle turned in a respectable .331 in 2014, but finished 2015 with a school record .426.
Gilland arrived at Murray State after serving for two years as an assistant coach at Northern Iowa. During her tenure in Cedar Falls, she helped lead the Panthers to a record of 70-41, including a 38-16 campaign in 2012 in which UNI claimed the Missouri Valley regular-season championship.
Prior to Northern Iowa, Gilland spent five seasons at Western Illinois, with two as a player, one as a student assistant and two as a graduate assistant. While in Macomb, Gilland earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2007 and a master’s in sport management in 2009.
Before transferring to Western Illinois, the Ocala, Florida, native spent two seasons at Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Florida.
While her duties will be drastically different this time around, Gilland is no stranger to Murray State. During the 2009-2010 season, she served as a marketing assistant for the Racers, handling promotions for volleyball, women’s basketball and softball.
Gilland currently works primarily with hitters and outfielders.
Winter in in her first season with the Racers, after spending the past two seasons in the same position at Fordham. During that time she helped coach the Rams to back-to-back Atlantic 10 titles and NCAA tournament appearances and saw three of her pitchers earn All-A10 accolades.
As a player at Notre Dame, Winter was a four-time first team all-conference honoree and earned second team All-Region honors from the NFCA during her freshman and sophomore years, before moving to the first team for her junior and senior seasons. During the Irish's final two seasons in the Big East she was named Pitcher of the Year as a sophomore and Player of the Year as a junior.
The San Diego, California native ended her career in South Bend with a record of 112-34 over 167 appearances and 138 starts. She finished her four seasons with a career ERA 2.12, while striking out 1,078 batters and walking just 129 for a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 8.4:1.
After college, Winter was the third pick of the second round and seventh overall pick when she was taken by the Akron Racers in the 2014 National Pro Fastpitch Draft. After sitting out the 2014 season due to injury, she has worked way into becoming one of the most valuable tools in Akron's bullpen.
Winter is 2014 graduate of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business with a degree in information technology management.