Assistant Coach – 6th Season
Howard Dobson enters his sixth season as an assistant coach at LSU. He serves as the program's hitting coach and assists with recruiting.
Since helping take the reins of the Tiger offense, the program has seen its offensive numbers surge to new heights, as in 2016 LSU produced the fourth most hits in program history, second most runs scored, fourth most total bases and second most RBIs. The team's patience at the plate also resulted in being issued 315 walks, the most for an LSU team in a single season and 57 more than the previous record as LSU made it back to the Women's College World Series, Dobson's fifth trip in his coaching career.
Known in some circles as one of the best hitting instructors in the nation, the 2015 Tigers set five team statistical records on the way to Dobson's fourth trip to the Women's College World Series, while producing two of the most prolific home run hitting teams LSU has ever seen. LSU finished the season setting a new team record with a .335 batting average, .523 slugging percentage and .425 on-base percentage, driving in a record 392 RBIs and scoring 428 times. The squad finished two homers shy of tying the record set last season with 63, including having the first trio of players with multiple home runs since the mid-2000's and just the second time ever.
Seven of eight LSU starters finished the 2015 year with a batting average above .300, with two nearly breaking a 15-year-old record in the process hitting above .400 in Bianka Bell and Bailey Landry. LSU produced a record five NFCA All-Americans led by Bell on the first team, with Landry and Sahvanna Jaquish landing on the second team. Bell was named the Louisiana Hitter of the Year becoming the fourth player to win that award ever at LSU, while also earned a spot with her coach on the USA Softball Senior Women's National Team.
Since joining the staff, Dobson has helped lead a resurgence of the Tiger offense in a big way, as the 2014 team earned the second highest team batting average in program history at .314, while the squad's 65 home runs were the most in a single year as a group in program history. LSU turned in a 65-point improvement in batting average from the 2012 to 2013 season, improving it another 30 points to jump from .220 to .314 during that span.
Sahvanna Jaquish was the 16th player in program history to become an NFCA All-American, as she was one of seven players to finish the season with a batting average of .300 or better. Jaquish, along with Bianka Bell (NFCA All-South Region first team), A.J. Andrews (All-SEC Second Team, NFCA All-South Region second team), Allison Falcon (NFCA All-South Region second team), Bailey Landry, Tammy Wray and Sandra Simmons each achieved this feat in 2014.
Dobson returned to the Women's College World Series for the third time in his coaching career with the Tigers during the 2012 season. Ashley Langoni joined former All-American Leslie Klein (2006) and Rachel Mitchell (2008) as the only players to capture the program's triple crown during a single season.
The Tigers had five players collect over a .300 batting average which included All-SEC honorees A.J. Andrews (first team), Bianka Bell (second team) and Jacee Blades (second team). Andrews was the 15th player in program history to notch NFCA All-America status, while Bell garnered the SEC's Freshman of the Year award after her 12 homers tied for third-most in program history for a single season.
Dobson has been heavily involved with USA Softball over the last four summers. He served as an assistant coach on the USA Softball Elite Team in 2012 and the USA Softball Women's National Team in 2013. He traveled with Team USA to the World Cup of Softball and the Canadian Open and returned as an assistant coach for the senior national team in the summer of 2014.
Dobson spent the previous four seasons as the head coach of Southern Miss. During his tenure with the Golden Eagles, he coached seven All-Conference USA performers highlighted by Megan Hill. The four-time All-Conference USA pick set eight offensive program records, including hits (205), RBIs (151), runs scored (148), home runs (48) and total bases (398). She also garnered NFCA All-Midwest First-Team accolades, the program's first recipient since the 2000 season.
Prior to Southern Miss, Dobson served as an assistant coach at Oklahoma for five seasons. He helped the Sooners continue to develop their reputation as not only a Big 12 offensive powerhouse but a national offensive juggernaut.
OU topped the Big 12 in scoring and also ranked among the league's top two in batting average during all five of his seasons in Norman. The Sooners had seven players secure NFCA All-American honors in addition to 15 NFCA All-Midwest Region selections and 20 All-Big 12 honorees. Norrele Dickson, Heather Scaglione and Kristin Vesely racked up multiple NFCA All-America selections under Dobson.
Dobson played an instrumental role as OU made a pair of trips to the Women's College World Series trips in 2003 and 2004. The Sooners also made four NCAA Super Regional runs (2003, 2004, 2005, 2007) during their five consecutive trips to the postseason sparked by a 55-win campaign in 2007, which is tied for third in the OU record books.
Before Oklahoma, Dobson contributed to the establishment of Houston's softball program in 2000. The Orange, Texas, native had players notch 10 All-Conference USA accolades in two seasons fueled by Kristen Glowacz's 2002 C-USA Freshman of the Year award. The 2002 Cougars paced C-USA in hits (480), runs scored (279), slugging percentage (.448), RBIs (244) and home runs (47).
Dobson began his coaching career in the Pelican State with stops at Southeastern Louisiana, McNeese State and Barbe High School in Lake Charles. He directed his team at Barbe to a 5A state championship and gained valuable experience working at collegiate skills camps along with coaching on the international level. In the summer of 1999, his international team won the German Open.
A former all-conference performer at Panola College in Carthage, Texas, Dobson went on to finish his collegiate baseball career at McNeese State where he graduated with a degree in health and human performance and English in 1997.
Dobson and his wife, Katharine, have a 10-year-old son Trip. They live in Baton Rouge.