ACU Director of Athletics Allen Ward announced the hiring of former Marshall University standout pitcher and Cascade Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year Abigail Farler to lead the Wildcats’ softball team in June.
Farler came to ACU from Salem, Oregon at Corban University, where she was the head coach for the Warriors for three seasons. During her three year tenure, from 2017-2019, as Corban’s head coach, Faler went 120-44 (.731). In 2017, she won a school-record 46 games and qualified for the NAIA National Tournament in 2018 and 2019.
She was also a key component of Marshall’s program from 2004-07, winning 52 games, with a 2.71 ERA and striking out 363 batters in college.
Later in her career, she played professionally in the Netherlands before moving back to the states to pursue coaching. When Farler got the offer, she knew that ACU was a perfect fit for her in this stage of her career.
“The culture of the university and the vision of the athletic department are exactly in line with my vision for running a softball program and the exact type of university that I really want to work for at this point in my life,” Farler said.
Working at the highest level is a key component in Farler’s career but it’s not as important as discipling and mentoring her players on and off the diamond.
“Being able to do both of those things is the perfect career for me,” Farler said.
Farler intends to do just that and envision the team as a family. Her vision for the upcoming season is allowing the team to become one cohesive unit where the love they share for each other will translate on and off the field.
“It’s critical to me that our culture is healthy and I think that is the key to success,” Farler said. “You can have all the talent in the world, but if the girls don’t genuinely love each other, they are not going to fight hard for each other.”
She envisions the team taking an aggressive, hard-nosed approach on the field.
She firmly believes the team will excel in being more aggressive on the base paths and making it a game within the game. She wants her team to be confident, creative and problem-solving which will benefit the team in the long run and make the games more enjoyable and exciting for fans.
“When you’re going for the web gem, instead of trying not to make the error,” Farler said, “it becomes so much more exciting.”
Coach Farler is passionate about the team and its success, but most importantly how they grow individually and as a unit. She believes being at a university like ACU gives the team a distinct advantage when it comes to the chemistry between them.
“Being at a Christian university, they have a different foundation for loving one another,” Farler said. “As well as a different expectation than you would at just an average school.”
Recovering from the previous year, Farler believes the addition of two new coaches, as well as herself, will be a nice refresher for the program which suffered its worst season in Div. I history.
“I believe that it’s healthy that the girls come out on day one with no history with us,” Farler said. “They get to learn and figure them all out as they go.”
She firmly believes that with the coaching staff she has in place, and the complementary personalities they possess, the team will be under great leadership. Coach Farler is confident the future of the Wildcats will be bright with a wide net of recruiting from all three coaches and is confident that will be a huge benefit to the program moving forward.
Wildcat softball fans have a lot to look forward to this upcoming season. Under a new coaching staff with a passion for their team and players, the road to success is imminent.
Practice begins Sept. 1, when the team plays in a scrimmage to start the year. Other scrimmages will be Sept. 27, Oct. 1 and Oct. 12-13. Every scrimmage will be open to the public in preparation for the upcoming season.