Lacinda Melanson enters her fifth year at the helm of the UNC
Pembroke softball squad during the 2012-13 academic year after
being named UNCP's ninth head softball coach on Aug. 7, 2008.
In her first four seasons she has recorded a combined record of 84-104, including a 29-19 mark in 2010. Under her tutiledge, UNCP athletes have earned numerous honors including:
(1) – Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year
(3) – First Team All- Peach Belt Conference
(1) – Peach Belt Conference Freshman of the Year
(3) – Second Team All-Peach Belt Conference
(1) – NFCA First-Team All-American
(2) – NCCSIA All-State
(2) – Daktronics All-Region
(2) – NFCA All-Region
(9) – Peach Belt Conference All-Academic Team
(7) - (NFCA) All-American Scholar-Athlete
(1) - Girls Got Game/NFCA All-Academic Team
(1) – PBC Sportsmanship Award (Team)
She came to Pembroke following a four-year stint (2005-08) as both a graduate assistant and assistant coach at Louisiana-Monroe where she helped lead the Warhawks to more than 85 wins – including a 12-game improvement after just two years on the ULM staff.
"We found a dynamic coach in Lacinda Melanson - a former Division II all-American and an experienced Division I coach," said UNCP athletic director Dan Kenney. "Lacinda is the daughter of a college softball coach and understands the work ethic needed to be successful. Most importantly, she has proven that she cares about the welfare of her student-athletes."
Melanson, a Pembroke Pines, Fla., native, played four seasons (2001-04) at the University of Tampa where she was a three-time all-conference second baseman for the Spartans. During her four years in Tampa, she helped pace UT to a cumulative 123-69 (.641) record, one Sunshine State Conference title and three NCAA postseason appearances. She was also a member of three of Tampa’s four 30-win squads, including pacing the Spartans to a then-school record 35 victories in 2002.
“UNCP is very fortunate to have someone with Lacinda’s knowledge of the game and tremendous values,” said Tampa head coach Leslie Kanter. “She has a lot to give to the athletes and to the UNCP program.”
Norman-Melanson enjoyed a phenomenal junior season that saw her record a team- and career-best .354 (46-for-130) batting average to go along with 12 extra-base hits (1 HR) 23 RBI and 18 runs scored. Her numbers would earn her second team all-American and first team all-region honors, as well as the first of two consecutive first team all-SSC accolades.
Named “Major of the Year” and “Outstanding Education Graduate” (3.57 cumulative grade point average) at the conclusion of her senior year, she also served a stint as captain of the UT softball squad and was a co-leader of a Bible study for athletes with Campus Crusade for Christ.
Following her standout playing career, she made the transition to the coaching world as a graduate assistant at Louisiana-Monroe and the effects of her tutelage were felt almost immediately. The Warhawks, who recorded just 13 wins the year prior to her arrival (2004), would flirt with the .500 mark during her first season as a full-time assistant (2006) en route to 27 victories on the shoulders of record-breaking offensive numbers. ULM would, again, churn out school-best offensive statistics the following season in its first year of competition in the Sun Belt Conference.
She has also gained coaching stints on the staffs of both the Davie (Fla.) Power softball organization and the Gold Coast Hurricanes (Plantation, Fla.). She served as an assistant coach with both organizations, including her stint with the power under her father and current St. Thomas head coach Jeff Norman.
Melanson earned her bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Tampa in 2004 and her master’s degree in kinesiology from Louisiana-Monroe in 2005. She and her husband, Justin Melanson, have been married for four years.