POPLARVILLE, Miss. — Pearl River has tabbed an energetic MACJC veteran to lead its softball program into the future.
Pearl River Athletics Director Jeff Long announced Thursday the hire of Christie Meeks as the program's third fastpitch softball coach. Meeks joins PRCC after five years as an assistant at Mississippi Gulf Coast.
"We are very excited to welcome Coach Christie Meeks, her husband Eric, and their two children Connor and Olivia to the Wildcat family," Long said. "Coach Meeks has extensive knowledge of our league and our recruiting area, as well as experience having mentored some great pitchers in the MACJC.
"We look forward to Coach Meeks providing great leadership to our softball program."
Meeks is excited to take the next step in her coaching career — and in doing so, lead the Wildcats to new heights.
"I want to thank the Pearl River administration for believing in me. I think this is a phenomenal opportunity. It's a place full of family and that's what we're all about," she said. "Me and my family collaborate on everything and that's something that's huge to me.
"This place has an opportunity to explode. There are schools all around, the location is phenomenal, the hitting facility is wonderful. I'm exciting to see what's in store for the next couple of years."
The Mobile, Alabama, native, filled a number of roles at Gulf Coast. Primarily the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator, Meeks was involved in most aspects of the Bulldogs' program.
During her five years at MGCCC, the Bulldogs built a 184-50 overall record and earned a NJCAA Tournament berth, won the MACJC and Region XXIII titles, placed second in the State tournament twice and third in the Region Tournament twice.
Individually, Meeks was a key figure in building MGCCC's dynamic roster. Specifically working with the pitchers, Meeks saw seven MGCCC hurlers sign with four-year programs. Meeks also mentored six pitchers who collectively won 15 MACJC pitching honors, four NJCAA pitching awards and one, Kaitlin Lee, who was a NJCAA All-America selection.
"The coaches I have worked for really put me in positions to grow. I have also helped with the infield and helped with the outfield. I view any opportunity to learn and gain more knowledge as amazing," Meeks said. "Being under Coach (Kenneth) Long, I was able to learn things that being under other coaches I never would have had those same opportunities.
"He taught me a lot of timely things and I think having this opportunity at Pearl River will be phenomenal to put all of those things into play and mesh with all of the things I have learned."
MEEKS' MARK ON PRCC
When Meeks visited PRCC recently, she was taken aback at the program's potential — both from a facility and region standpoint to the current culture on campus and the potential to take the Wildcats to new heights.
One of the big pluses to Meeks — and what will undoubtedly be a must-see when recruits visit — is the team's state-of-the-art softball-specific hitting facility that's attached to the fieldhouse.
"I think it's top notch. It's one of the best in the league," she said. "I don't know of any schools that have a better locker room that leads right into your own hitting facility. Not many people have that."
With the returners from last year's team that hosted the program's first Region XXIII Tournament and the members of the 2019 signing class, Meeks hopes to build a solid foundation that keeps the big picture in focus.
Meeks believes a true passion for the game, dedication to one another and hard work will be cornerstones of her program.
"Your conditioning, your team bonding, building camaraderie with other sports on campus and then through that I would look for us as we go to the field to move as a clock, move as one," Meeks said. "No person is greater than the other person. That's what we want to focus on. From there, being one team. Pearl River has had great individuals in the past. I fully believe that having coached against them.
"As a whole, I would like to see us as a team make that bond together. If you can do that, nothing will break it."
While Meeks' demeanor away from the diamond is agreeable and friendly, once she crosses the chalk line it's all business for PRCC's newest coach.
"I am huge with passion and sometimes when that comes out you have to flip your hat. We joke a lot at our house that you can be mild mannered when you're outside of softball, but when you're inside of a sport that you love your passion comes out," She said. "For me, when I'm on the field it's all about letting that passion explode, being excited in the times you need to be excited and being mellow in the times where we need to work through some areas.
"I wouldn't say I'm 'rah-rah' but I would definitely say I'm passionate."
Prior to joining the college ranks, Meeks coached at East Central High School from 2013-14, where she was the pitching coach in addition to the head volleyball coach. Additionally, Meeks was an assistant coach at Satsuma High and Theodore High in Alabama; coaching at SHS in 2011 and THS in 2012. Meeks was also the assistant volleyball coach at THS.
Meeks starred at Theodore before going on to play at Laurleen B. Wallace Community College, where she was an all-region performer and graduated magna cum laude. From there, Meeks moved on to play at the University of Mobile, where she also graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of Science degree in mathmatics. Meeks has also earned a masters in math education from West Alabama.
Meeks and her husband, Eric, have two children, Connor and Olivia.
Meeks replaces Leigh White, who led PRCC from 2004-2019 and resigned following the most recent season to pursue other opportunities.
LINK TO VIDEO INTRODUCTION: https://youtu.be/9SzgNjU7468
Pearl River Community College
Director of Communications for Athletics