Auburn softball introduces Chris, Kate Malveaux: 'We're going to chase championships'

by Jeff Shearer

AUBURN, Ala. – Embracing the uniqueness of their situation, Auburn softball co-head coaches Chris and Kate Malveaux see their partnership as a plus.

"The reason why this is going to work really well," Kate Malveaux said, "is what he is may not be my strength. My strengths may not be his, so you get the best. Every head coach is going to have flaws. You don't have those flaws because you get both. People all the time want to say why it won't work instead of why it will."

Introduced Tuesday at the Woltosz Center, the Malveauxs expressed gratitude for their opportunity, appreciation for Auburn softball's past, enthusiasm for its future, and love for each other.

"Thank you so much for being an amazing wife," Chris Malveaux said, looking at Kate nearby with their children, Ellie and Gabe. "I've loved this journey and I'm excited for this new stage to be able to share this with you."

"Chris is my rock," Kate Malveaux said. "He has pushed me to be better every step of the way. I am so grateful that we get to do this together."

The fourth and fifth head coaches in program history, Kate focuses on catchers and baserunners while Chris concentrates on offense.

"Chris is a brilliant mind," Kate Malveaux said.

Assistant coach Ryker Chason will handle pitching while DJ Sanders works with infielders and helps with offense.

"I love going on a journey with people," Chris Malveaux said. "Being in the trenches, in the cages, on the field and in the dugout. I love that journey, being on a team and being able to do it with people. We are so fortunate to be here in such an incredibly special place."

The Malveauxs come to the Plains from Tennessee, where the Lady Vols succeeded under husband-and-wife co-head coaches Ralph and Karen Weekly for two decades.

"They gave us a shot to work together," Kate Malveaux said. "They gave us the blueprint that husband and wives can do it."

Kate Malveaux recounted Auburn's previous accomplishments, including SEC championships, Women's College World Series appearances and individual accolades.

"They are what laid the foundation for us to come in and do what we're going to do here," Kate Malveaux said. "I don't think you can go where you're going without knowing where you've been. We're incredibly grateful for what Auburn softball has done, for what Mickey Dean and his staff has done to set us up for amazing success."

While seeking to replace former SEC Pitcher of the Year Maddie Penta, who's now playing professionally, the Malveauxs plan to build their first team around Auburn's returning players.

"They want to take a step forward," Chris Malveaux said. "They want to work, they want to win. They want this, and we want this too, so let's do it."

With 2024 WCWS finalists Oklahoma and Texas joining the SEC in two weeks, college softball's most competitive league is only getting stronger, a challenge the Malveauxs accept.

"We're not afraid to work," Kate Malveaux said. "We've proven that we can build, and we can build fast. We're going to chase championships. That's what we're going to do here and that's what we expect out of our players.

"We're incredibly honored and humbled to usher in a new era of Auburn softball. We want this community, alumni, donors and fans, we want you to be part of it because you are part of the family. That matters to us, so come out and be a part of it."

Jeff Shearer is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter: @jeff_shearer