NEW ALBANY — Tiffany Buckmaster has been named the third head coach in IU Southeast softball program history, the school announced last week.
“Tiffany has great knowledge of the sport and has coached at many different levels of collegiate softball, which makes her a great addition to the softball program,” IUS Director of Athletics Joe Glover said in a release. “It became obvious during the interview process that her wealth of experience as a head coach at the collegiate level, her familiarity with the softball community, and her passion and understanding of the mission of IU Southeast Athletics, that she was the right choice at the right time to lead our program. She is a great communicator who brings tremendous enthusiasm to this position. The softball program has a great foundation that she can build upon moving forward.”
Buckmaster spent the 2020 COVID-shortened season as the head coach at NCAA Division II Wheeling University in Wheeling, W.V. Prior to joining the Cardinals, she spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Lourdes University, an NAIA school in Sylvania, Ohio.
“I am extremely blessed and excited for the opportunity to be part of the IU Southeast family!” Buckmaster said. “I would like to thank Athletic Director Joe Glover, the search committee, coaches, staff and players for welcoming me to campus, making it feel like home and entrusting me to lead this program.”
Buckmaster’s first head-coaching opportunity was Williston State, a junior college in North Dakota, where she coached from 2014-2017. She helped guide the Tetons to two runner-up finishes in the Mon-Dak conference and coached eight all-Conference and six all-region players during her tenure. The Tetons had 11 student-athletes named to the conference’s All-Academic team and had one academic All-American.
She started her coaching career as an assistant coach at NCAA Division II Columbus State University in Georgia in the fall of 2011 before returning to her alma mater, Bluffton University, as an assistant for two seasons from 2013 to 2014.
Buckmaster earned her bachelor’s degree in health, physical education and recreation from Bluffton in 2011 and received her MBA there in 2014. In 2008, she helped the Beavers win the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference title.
Most recently, she was the Sports and Recreation Director at the Reeves County Recreation Center in Pecos, Texas.
Buckmaster replaces Joe Witten, who resigned in July to become the head coach at Charlestown High School after going 293-129-1 in nine seasons at IUS. The program’s all-time wins leader guided the Grenadiers to four regular-season and three conference tournament titles, as well as six appearances in the national tourney.
“Coach Witten has built and sustained a very successful softball program that has been held to a high standard both on and off the field. I am honored for the opportunity to carry on that tradition and truly can’t wait to get on campus!” Buckmaster said.
Buckmaster inherits a team that finished the 2021 season with a school-record 48 wins and advanced to the championship game of the NAIA Opening Round Columbia (Mo.) Bracket. Seven Grenadiers were named River States Conference All-Conference selections, including Hannah Ogg, who was named the RSC Pitcher of the Year.