Spotswood grad Mickey Dean hired for Auburn Softball

Mickey Dean resigned as James Madison's softball coach to take the same position at Auburn, the schools announced Thursday.

JMU athletics director Jeff Bourne immediately promoted Loren LaPorte to be the interim coach for the program.

"JMU has been unbelievable, I can't even put into words what it's been like to lead this program over the last five years," Dean said in a phone interview Thursday. "This is one of the best places I've ever been to work, and it wasn't even like work, it was like being with family every day. But sometimes, you need to make decisions."

Dean led the Dukes to unprecedented success in his five years at the helm of the program, leading the team to a 237-56 record in his tenure. JMU set the school record for wins in each of his five seasons, culminating in last season's 52-8 record.

"I've been fortunate to work with Coach Dean for nine years, and I'm ready for this," LaPorte said in a phone interview. "He's prepared me, he's groomed me and I'm ready for this opportunity. We're still going to compete at a regional and national level and keep the tradition and culture of what we've already established here in the last five years."

The Dukes advanced to the NCAA Tournament in all five years under Dean, hosting two regionals and the 2015 Super Regional against LSU.

Dean, an Elkton native and 1983 Spotswood graduate, previously coached at Radford.

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