MONROEVILLE – Alabama Southern's athletics programs welcomes two new coaches to the fold this fall.
Mandee Armstrong takes the helm of the Lady Eagles' basketball team while Monica Meadows will lead the Lady Eagles' softball program. Neither coach is a stranger to the area.
Armstrong, a native of Quitman, Georgia, has served as an assistant coach with the Lady Eagles program for the past two years. Meadows, a native of Mobile, has been working with tons of community college programs as a graduate assistant coach at the University of West Florida.
Both coaches took very wandering paths to where they are today. Armstrong played basketball at Troy University back when the Lady Trojans competed in the Mid-Continental Conference. She helped lead the team to a conference championship in 1997 and still holds many individual marks in the Troy record book today. When she graduated from college, she went to Europe, playing professionally in Portugal and Luxembourg.
When basketball ended, Armstrong, who majored in criminal justice at Troy, decided to get into police work.
"My mom's sister lived in Monroeville," Armstrong said. "I used to spend my summers here when I was in college so when I heard a job was open with the Monroeville Police Department, I took it."
Starting out as a patrolman, she worked her way up to being part of the Drug Task Force and ended up her career in investigations.
Two years ago, she heard the Lady Eagles were in need of an assistant basketball coach.
"I knew Coach Eager so I gave him a call and I was able to get on board," she said.
When the coaching job came up, she decided to give it a shot.
"On one hand, I know the players because I have coached them and I helped recruit them," she said. "On the other, I have a whole lot to learn. It is going to take some adjusting but I welcome the challenge. This program has a lot of potential."
Meadows, a native of Mobile, played for the Honeybees of Baker High School. The highly-recruited centerfielder went on to play for Rollins College, a Division II school located in Winter Park, Florida.
At Rollins, she collected tons of accolades for her play, including being named all-conference, all-region and was Conference Player of the Year.
After graduating cum laude in Psychology, Meadows pursued a master's degree in human resources and soon went to work in the corporate world.
"I had a good job and was advancing my career but I always felt I wanted to get involved in coaching," she said. Eventually, she got an opportunity to become a graduate assistant for the Lady Argos of West Florida.
"I'm looking forward to coaching at Alabama Southern," she said. "I've gotten to meet several of the players and I'm very excited about the future here. The program is ranked nationally for its academics. We want to continue to hold those high standards and to focus on building character on and off the field.
Athletics Director Daniel Head said he is pleased with the new coaches.
"We have two quality coaches who know their sports and know what it takes for students to succeed athletically and academically," he remarked. "I think they both will have tremendous impacts on our programs and our players and they will get our athletics programs where they need to be."