Campus Corner

Missouri softball hires assistant coach

Missouri softball coach Ehren Earleywine.
Missouri softball coach Ehren Earleywine. The Associated Press

The Missouri softball team announced Thursday that Doug Gillis had been hired as an assistant coach and will work with the Tigers’ pitching staff.

Gillis was selected for Team USA six times and was the only U.S. player on the International Softball Congress’ All-World team in 2010. He pitched Team USA to the 2002 Pan-Am Games gold medal and the 2003 silver medal

“Doug is the best pitching coach anywhere,” Missouri coach Ehren Earleywine said. “What an enormous benefit it will be to our program to have him working with our pitchers on a daily basis.”

Gillis has established himself as one of the nation’s top fast-pitch instructors during the last two decades and worked privately with former Tigers ace Chelsea Thomas, a three-time All-American and three-time conference pitcher of the year.

“I’m excited because I think this team can contend for a national championship,” Gillis said in a release from MU Athletics. “The pitching staff has a chance to be second-to-none. What really helps is the fact that I’ll be able to work more closely with the pitchers on a day-to-day basis and be at games. It’ll certainly be more effective coaching than in the past.”

Missouri returns ace Tori Finucane, who went 21-6 with a 1.73 ERA as a freshman last season before an injury sidelined her during NCAA regional play.

The Tigers also expect big things from freshman left-hander Paige Lowary, a former Iowa Gatorade softball player of the year.

Missouri also added sophomore transfer Cheyenne Baxter to the mix during the offseason. Baxter, a native of Norborne, Mo., transferred from Nebraska-Omaha.

**Also on Thursday, Missouri gymnastics announced the addition of former Tigers star Adrianne Perry as a volunteer assistant coach.

Perry, who graduated in 2010 with a degree in textiles and apparel management, is the only gymnast in Missouri history to qualify for NCAA nationals all four seasons, competing from 2006-09.

She is a Columbia native but went to Blue Springs High School and trained at Great American Gymnastics Express.

Perry finished 16th in the nation in the all-around as a senior at the 2009 NCAA women’s gymnastics championships.

She also won the 2008 Big 12 all-around title and snagged floor-exercise gold at the 2008 and 2009 Big 12 championships.

“I’m ecstatic and grateful for the opportunity to be part of the Mizzou gymnastics staff this coming season,” Perry said in a release from MU Athletics. “Since hanging up my competition (leotard) in 2009, I have continued to be a big supporter of the program. It will be fun to take on a new role as a coach and mentor for these young women.”

To reach Tod Palmer, call 816-234-4389 or send email to Follow him on Twitter at @todpalmer.