Marissa Young headshot

Marissa Young

Marissa Young started with nothing. No stadium, no team, no history to build on.

But her background as a Michigan softball Big Ten Player of the Year and three-time All-America selection as a pitcher, plus coaching stints at North Carolina and Eastern Michigan, perfectly qualified Young to become Duke’s first softball coach in 2015.

Upon her hiring, former Duke athletic director Kevin White called Young “one of the brightest young stars in the softball coaching profession.”

White added: “Her pedigree as both a coach and a player is simply spectacular. Having played for, and excelled in, one of the premier programs in America at Michigan, Marissa understands winning at the highest level of college softball. Even more impressive is her advocacy, energy and passion for student-athletes. Unequivocally, we believe she is the right coach to build an amazing softball program from the ground up here at Duke.”

Varsity play opened during the 2017-2018 academic year. White’s assessment has been spot on.

Young’s teams have amassed a 213-97 record in her first six years as coach. She also led the Blue Devils to a historic 2021 campaign, compiling a 44-12 record, their first ACC Championship title and a No. 13 national seed in their first NCAA appearance.

“Starting a program is a once in a lifetime opportunity, but to do it at one of the nation’s most prestigious schools academically and athletically is a dream come true,” Young said when she was hired, adding: “Success is not a single event but a process.”

Before coaching, the Santa Ana, California, native played two years of professional softball, one overseas in Italy and the second year with the Texas Thunder of the National Pro Fastpitch.

Young has four children: Braylon, Layla, Jolyna and Kayden.