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Mayben named SOU interim softball coach

ASHLAND — SOU athletic director Matt Sayre stayed within the Southern Oregon University softball program to determine its next step, naming Mike Mayben, a longtime local staple of the game, as the Raiders’ interim head coach on Thursday.

Mayben served as an assistant the last two seasons for Jessica Pistole, who last week accepted the head coach position at University of San Diego after guiding SOU to its first national championship this spring. Prior to joining the Raiders, Mayben won four state championships as the head softball coach at North Medford High, compiling a 275-66 record over 12 seasons.

Two other members of SOU’s 2019 National Fastpitch Coaches Association’s NAIA National Coaching Staff of the Year, Harlee Donovan and Duane Pardue, will stay on as assistants. Cheyenne Bricker, the final piece of that staff, has joined Pistole at USD.

“We lost a great one in Jessica Pistole, but the program will be in good hands this season with Mike acting as interim head coach,” Sayre said. “He contributed immensely to the development of our players and our brand of softball over the last two years. Mike’s a proven winner and a great teacher of the game. With coaches Harlee Donovan and Duane Pardue taking on more responsibility as well, I’m confident the level of trust and buy-in from the team will maintain at a high level.”

Mayben has been a teacher in the Medford School District since 1999 and at North Medford since 2011. He took over as coach of the Black Tornado in 2006 and left having won eight consecutive conference championships, capturing his final state title in 2017.

Following his final season, Mayben was named the OSAA Class 6A Coach of the Year for the fourth time and the Southwest Conference Coach of the Year for the seventh time.

Said Mayben: “Coach Pistole has set the bar high both on and off the field. We learned a great deal from her leadership, as well as the leadership of our three seniors this past season. It is our honor to continue to work hard, serve others and strive for excellence on the field as a way to continue the passion and competitive drive coach Pistole and the players under her care have shown these past five seasons. Collectively our players, coaching staff and administration are prepared to work together and strive to become the best that we are capable, and to anticipate that through a committed work ethic, servant hearts and a desire to attain competitive greatness, we’ll find ourselves competing until the final out at the end of another great season. I’m humbled and excited to work alongside such a great group of student athletes and staff.”

Mayben graduated from Corban with a Bachelor’s of Science in elementary education, and attained a Master’s of Technology in education from Lesley University.

Donovan, the 2017 NAIA Player of the Year for the Raiders, will enter her second year on staff, while Pardue is the team’s longest-tenured assistant entering his sixth year.

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