USC Upstate’s Chris Hawkins Promoted as Associate Athletic Director

July 24, 2017 at 9:27 am

Head softball coach Chris Hawkins has been promoted as associate athletic director. He will remain head coach for USC Upstate Softball.

The University of South Carolina Upstate announces the promotion of head softball coach and alumnus Chris Hawkins ‘89 to associate athletic director. Hawkins will remain the head softball coach for the Spartans.

“From my time as a player and now as a coach, USC Upstate has been a big part of my life for 30 years,” Hawkins said. “For me, every day is a great day to be a Spartan but today is a really good day.”

Hawkins said he is excited to work with incoming athletic director Julio Freire and the athletics staff in building a stronger reputation for USC Upstate’s Division I programs and in raising funds to better support those teams.

“You pour everything you have into building a great program, helping kids to be successful and doing what it takes to win at our level,” Hawkins said. “I’ve grown very accustomed to what it takes to win at our level and in thinking outside-of-the-box when it comes to raising funds to support our team.”

Now in his 24th season with the Spartans, Hawkins is the winningest coach in USC Upstate softball history and in the history of the USC Upstate Athletics Department with 859 victories. Among NCAA Division I’s active coaches, Hawkins ranks 15th by winning percentage and 23rd by victories.

Hawkins recently led the program to its fifth consecutive NCAA Regional appearance after winning both the ASUN Regular Season and Tournament Championships. The program also captured its fourth ASUN Regular Season Championship and fourth ASUN Softball Championship in 2017.

In 2017, Hawkins earned his third ASUN Coach of the Year (2014, 2015, 2017) honor after leading the Spartans to their fourth Regular Season Championship in school history. He has coached four ASUN Pitchers of the Year, one ASUN Defensive Player of the Year, 44 All-Conference and 20 ASUN All-Freshman Team selections since joining the league for the 2008 season.

A native of Seneca, Hawkins was a member of the school’s first varsity baseball team in 1986, Hawkins earned his spot as one of the all-time greats in the USC Upstate Athletics Hall of Fame in 2003 and was named a recipient of USC Upstate’s 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award. Hawkins began working at USC Upstate as an assistant softball coach under Mark Cooke, after graduating with a degree in physical education in 1989. He was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 1985 and again by the Houston Astros in 1987. He played in the Astros system in 1988.

Hawkins and his wife, Anje, have three children: Kyle, Brooks and Ryan.