Regarded as one of the premier recruiters and developers of pitchers in the country, Peter D’Amour has been named head coach of the Kennesaw State University softball program, Director of Athletics Vaughn Williams announced on Friday (Sept. 16). He becomes the fifth head coach in program history.
D’Amour has spent the last 10 years at the University of Missouri, serving as associate head coach and recruiting coordinator for the past two seasons. During his tenure on staff, the Tigers’ softball program compiled a 453-154 (.746) record, appeared in three Women’s College World Series (2009, 2010, 2011), advanced to eight NCAA Super Regionals, participated in 10 NCAA regionals and won two Big 12 Conference championships, while earning 10 straight Top 20 rankings.
D’Amour was primarily responsible for working with Missouri’s pitchers and catchers in addition to fulfilling the responsibilities of recruiting coordinator. Since 2009, with D’Amour calling pitches, Tigers pitchers threw 11 no-hitters. He also mentored 11 NCAA Division I All-Americans, two SEC Freshmen of the Year, three conference Pitchers of the Year, a national earned-run average leader, and a Defensive Player of the Year.
“We are extremely excited and fortunate to attract and hire someone with the coaching acumen and character of Peter D’Amour,” Williams said. “Peter’s success and track record in developing the total student-athlete is impressive and he is the perfect fit to lead the Kennesaw State softball program into the future.
“He not only has demonstrated the ability to develop outstanding softball players and help build a perennial winning program at Missouri, but he has emphasized the importance of academics as evidenced by the success the Tigers softball team has attained in the classroom,” Williams added. “We look forward to Peter bringing that same philosophy to Kennesaw State and having him build upon the excellence that KSU softball has achieved both academically and athletically over many years.”
The Tigers have garnered numerous academic accolades, including 28 SEC Academic Honor Roll players since 2013 and eight ESPN The Magazine CoSida Academic All-Americans. The 2011 team led the Big 12 Conference with an Academic Progress Rate (APR) of 997.
"Throughout this process, I was blown away by the professionalism of those I met with at Kennesaw State. Director Williams and his staff are committed to providing the student athletes with a first class experience in the classroom, in the community, and on the field,” D’Amour said. “I would like to thank Directors Williams, (Ed) Posaski, and (Katie) Egloff for the opportunity and I'm really looking forward to building a program at Kennesaw State that will be respected throughout the softball community."
With D’Amour leading the effort, Missouri annually produced one of the country’s top recruiting classes, including the 2017 group that is ranked No. 3 nationally by Flo Softball.
Over the past eight years, Missouri's pitching staff saw rapid improvement and became one of the top units in the country, aided in part by D'Amour.
In her first season of collegiate softball in 2014, Tori Finucane earned SEC Freshman of the Year recognition and posted a 21-6 record and 1.73 ERA. She additionally received First Team All-SEC and Freshman All-SEC honors, as well as NFCA All-Southeast Region second team distinction.
The 2013 season was the final campaign for Mizzou standout Chelsea Thomas, the first player in program history to be named a three-time First Team All-American. Thomas recorded a 24-6 mark and ranked fifth in the country while leading the SEC with a 1.16 ERA. She earned her third conference Pitcher of the Year award after taking the Big 12 Conference honor in 2011 and 2012.
The 2013 Tigers were also sound behind the plate with First Team All-SEC catcher Jenna Marston, who converted to the position from shortstop before the 2012 campaign. Marston posted a .989 fielding percentage and threw out seven attempted stealers on the year. She also received SEC All-Tournament honors and Second Team All-Southeast Region recognition.
Mizzou's 2011 pitching staff put together a 1.40 team ERA, the lowest for Missouri since 1998, while also striking out 539 batters, which shattered the old school record. A then-redshirt sophomore, Thomas led the nation with a 0.95 ERA, tied the school record with 32 wins and broke the school mark for strikeouts with 397. She was named one of three finalists for USA Softball's Player of the Year award.
Catcher Megan Christopher brought home the 2011 Big 12 Co-Defensive Player of the Year award, as she posted a .992 fielding percentage and threw out 44 percent of attempted stealers on the base paths. Kristin Nottelmann, who stepped in as the ace after Thomas' injury in 2010, enjoyed a strong season with a record of 17-1 and a 1.92 ERA. Her .944 winning percentage is the best ever in a single-season at Mizzou.
In 2012, Mizzou's pitching staff followed up its impressive 2011 season with a 1.53 ERA and 460 strikeouts, the second-most in a single-season at Mizzou. Thomas went 27-9 with a 1.16 ERA and 306 strikeouts in 229.1 innings pitched, on her way to her second of the three First Team All-America nods.
D'Amour started throwing underhand at the age of four while serving as batboy for his father's fast pitch team. He played shortstop and pitched men's fast pitch for seven seasons, including three in the ISC Travel League and was the MVP of the NSA World Series in 2007. During his last ASA National Tournament, D'Amour hit .500 (7-for-14) with three home runs. He also played two years of college baseball at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi where he was an infielder.
A native of Monrovia, Md., D'Amour earned a bachelor’s degree in general studies with an emphasis in business, English and history, and a master's degree in sports psychology from the Missouri.