Sargent Announces Retirement As WOU Softball Coach
Lonny Sargent is the winningest coach in WOU softball history with 230 victories and counting.
Lonny Sargent is the winningest coach in WOU softball history with 230 victories and counting.

Friday, March 11, 2022
by Western Oregon Athletic Communications

MONMOUTH, Ore. – Having become the winningest coach in Western Oregon softball history, Lonny Sargent will retire at the end of the 2022 season. Assistant Coach Aly Boytz will move into the interim head coach role.

"After 34 years and 10 years at WOU, the best part of my career has been building relationships with players and watching their growth as athletes and people," Sargent said. "I am especially grateful to the student-athletes, families, assistant coaches, colleagues, donors and fans I have had the pleasure to build lifelong connections with during my career."

"The pandemic has taught us all a lot. Someone once said, 'COVID has taught us not to wait until there is a crisis.' I realized it is time to be closer to my mom and other family, which means a new chapter in Arizona. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at WOU and hope that I have helped move the program forward. I am especially proud to be closing out my WOU coaching career with this amazing group of student-athletes and leaving the program to the next generation in Coach Boytz and Coach Miller – two proud Wolves alumni," Sargent said.

"My heart will always be with WOU & the GNAC since my daughter & her husband both graduated from Western & my son played golf & graduated from NNU," Sargent said. "My other half, Erin, also worked at Western and did an amazing job to move her departments forward. She will be taking on the role of an executive director position in Phoenix. These three (four with the new son-in-law) are definitely my support system and have cheered me on and been my sounding board most of the way."

Sargent set the program record wins mark following a victory at Central Washington on Apr. 29, 2021. With the 12-8 victory in game one that day, Sargent collected career win No. 227 during his time at Western Oregon. The Wolves won 14 games in 2021 and moved Sargent's win total to 230, while adding 124 GNAC wins during that time.

Sargent took the reins of the WOU softball program in 2013 and immediately had success. The Wolves won 27 games that season and then hit his high win total for his career in Monmouth the following year with 34 wins in 2014. WOU reached the NCAA Regional Tournament that season, picking up a win against Sonoma State.

The 2014 team won both the GNAC regular-season and tournament crowns and the 34 wins are the most in a single season in program history. The 2016 season saw another 30-plus win year with WOU tallying 31 wins and making a push for the NCAA Regional Tournament. Then in 2019, WOU made a strong push to win the regional following a 33-win season. The Wolves picked up wins over Concordia (Ore.) and San Francisco State, before falling to eventual champion Concordia-Irvine.

While the 2020 season was short, WOU was already on the way to making a run following a win over then No. 2 in the nation Texas A&M-Kingsville in dominating 11-3 fashion. WOU hosted the 2021 GNAC Tournament and picked up a win over Saint Martin's and played a tough opening game with runner-up Northwest Nazarene that was decided by a run.

Throughout the years there were multiple accolades earned. Western Oregon is the only program in the GNAC to qualify for every conference tournament since its inception in 2013. Ayanna Arceneaux was a Second Team All-American in 2019 and just in the past few seasons alone, 13 student-athletes have been named All-American Scholar-Athletes. Western had two players named GNAC Freshman of the Year in Maddie Mayer (2019) and Kelsie Gardner (2014) and Bridjet Box was named the GNAC Tournament MVP in 2014.

The Wolves have had 16 First Team All-GNAC recipients in Sargent's tenure, another 17 named Second Team All-GNAC and seven land on the Honorable Mention Team for a total of 40 all-conference selections. Sargent capped the 2014 season by being named the GNAC Coach of the Year for just the third time a WOU coach had earned a coach of the year honor since 1985.

During Sargent's tenure, the softball program saw tremendous fundraising support adding three new named scholarships and raising more than $400,000 to support scholarships, travel, facility upgrades, equipment, gear and more. Camps and clinics during the same time brought in well over $100,000. His passion for creating home-field advantage is reflected in the many facility upgrades like a new shed, flag and foul poles, extension of the berm for seating, team room, professional style (all net) backstop, turf infield and bull bens, new batting cages, and exterior fence.

"I want to thank Coach Sarg for his tremendous contributions to our softball program, as well as our athletic department over the past 10 years. His leadership and passion for WOU have been instrumental to our department's success within the GNAC and our community. He will be greatly missed on campus, but we know he will always cheer for the Wolves," Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Randi Lydum said.