James DeFeo enters his seventh season as the associate head coach and his 11th season overall at LSU. It also marks his 12th season under head coach Yvette Girouard after serving a year with her at Louisiana-Lafayette.
DeFeo’s main duties with the program include working with the hitters and outfielders as well as recruiting, scouting and practice management.
In 2004, he, Girouard and former assistant coach Lori Osterberg were named the National Fastpitch Coaches Association South Region Coaching Staff of the Year after leading LSU to its second Women’s College World Series berth. The trio also won the same honor after the Tigers made their first WCWS appearance during the 2001 season.
Over the previous seven seasons, LSU’s offense has not only been a mainstay at the top of the SEC rankings but in the upper echelon of the NCAA. The Tiger hitters as a unit have compiled an impressive 21 NCAA Top 30 team finishes in various offensive categories, including five Top 10 rankings. A remarkable 13 of those 21 feats over the six-year span have been in batting average, runs per game, home runs per game and slugging percentage.
Four Tiger outfielders over DeFeo’s tenure have earned Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-American accolades, including Kirsten Shortridge in both 2009 and 2010. Her .417 career batting average and .453 on-base percentage are tops in program history.
Leslie Klein, a three-time All-America pick, placed in the SEC’s Top 10 in virtually every hitting category as LSU connected for 58 home runs by 10 different players in 2007. She finished her career as one of the most prolific hitters in both LSU and SEC history. The Florida native currently holds four LSU career records – doubles (64), RBIs (192), slugging percentage (.607) and total bases (467). Her 64 doubles and 192 RBIs also are inside the SEC’s Top 5 marks.
LaDonia Hughes and Klein notched All-America selections in 2004 as the Tigers set four school records with 60 home runs, 336 RBIs, 385 runs and 875 total bases. Klein posted three NCAA Top 50 marks in slugging percentage (.662), runs per game (0.78) and RBIs per game (0.84).
LSU also ranked second in five additional categories highlighted by 583 hits on a .310 team batting average during the 2004 season. The Tigers also placed at least two players in the Top 10 individually in each of the SEC’s hitting categories and five players in the league’s Top 10 in total bases.
Trena Peel picked up All-America honors in 2002 as she led the nation knocking 14 triples en route to breaking the LSU and SEC single-season marks. She was two shy of the NCAA record.
Four additional Tiger outfielders, Lauren Castle, Camile Harris, Jazz Jackson and Rachel Mitchell, have tallied Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-South Region awards under DeFeo’s tutelage. Mitchell also eclipsed LSU’s career home run and walks mark during the 2010 season.
Prior to joining Girouard’s staff, DeFeo was a graduate assistant at Southern Miss in 1999 when the Golden Eagles became the first, first-year program to advance to the Women’s College World Series.
DeFeo has served as sole proprietor and instructor of the All-American Softball Clinics in New Jersey, New York, Florida, Pennsylvania and Mississippi for 13 years. He has coaching experience at nearly every level of fastpitch softball, including Under-12, Under-16, 18 and Under and Women’s Major.
A native of New Jersey, DeFeo graduated from Rutgers University in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in sport management. He received his master’s in sports administration from Southern Miss in 1999. His sister, Stephanie DeFeo, was a three-time All-American under Girouard at UL-Lafayette and is currently an assistant coach at Ball State.
In 2000, DeFeo married the former Samantha Rock. The couple has two daughters, Victoria (8) and Zoe (6) and son, Zachary (4).