Mike McFarland Named New Occidental Head Softball Coach
Mike McFarland, formerly an assistant softball coach at Occidental College, has been named head coach for the 2005 season. He takes over for Gene Shepherd, who died unexpectedly in September after serving in the position for five years.
“I’m very excited about this opportunity,” McFarland said. “It’s a big challenge, but we have a quality group of ladies returning who are very self-motivated and willing to work hard.”
McFarland inherits a squad that finished in sixth place last season with an 11-21 overall record (4-14 in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference). The Tigers return six starters from last year’s team, including All-SCIAC First Team selection Amy Shepro ’05, who plays first base.
McFarland brings three years of college and high school coaching experience to Occidental, having also served under Shepherd at Bishop Amat High School in La Puente. In 1999 he led the Lancers’ junior varsity team to a Del Rey Conference title.
In 2000, McFarland took the head coaching position at Mark Keppel High School in Alhambra, where he coached four-time All-Almont League selection and former Oxy letter-winner Kristen Hayashi ’04. For the past three years, McFarland has worked in various capacities as a member of the Occidental football staff, including offensive line coach this season. He returned to softball in 2004, working mainly with outfielders.
McFarland holds a bachelor’s degree in social science from California Lutheran University.