18 days after the announcement of the retirement of longtime assistant softball coach Alyson Habetz, head coach Patrick Murphy has found a replacement in three-time All-American and ESPN analyst Kayla Braud.
Braud was an outstanding player for the Tide from 2010 to 2013. The Eugene, Oregon native came to Tuscaloosa and became the SEC Freshman of the Year. Two years later, she would help catapult the Tide to the 2012 Women’s College World Series Championship. She was also a three-time Academic All-American.
Braud finished her Bama career with the second highest career batting average in program history of .438 behind the legendary Haylie McCleney who hit .447. Braud also had the second most stolen bases at Alabama at 182 of 208 for an .875 percent. Brittany Rogers was first with 198-228. Stolen bases has been an aspect of the Crimson Tide that has been lacking from the last couple of teams.
Braud has shown her analytical mind for the game in her broadcasting work with ESPN and the SEC Network over the last decade where she has been spectacular. She has definitely kept up with the game and can spot trends.
Best Studio Analyst: Kayla Braud pic.twitter.com/pdyLsxlrK2— Golden Mic Awards (@GoldenMic_Award) August 2, 2023
Patrick Murphy has shuffled the deck in promoting volunteer coach Ryan Iamurri to an off-field position of Coordinator of Player Management and also hiring Adam Arbour for a title to be named later, though it was stated by the University at the time of hiring that Arbour’s primary role would be as “working with the Crimson Tide hitters and catchers.” Lance McMahon returns for a second season as pitching coach. Because of the new NCAA rule that allows for a third paid coach in softball (and baseball), Murphy was allowed to bring a legend back to the Capstone.