Britni Sneed Newman is in her 15th season as Baylor’s pitching coach. She joined the Baylor staff in 2004 after spending one season as a student assistant at LSU.
Newman has developed some of the most prolific pitchers in Baylor history, several of which have been among the nation’s best.
In 2017, Newman worked one of her best coaching efforts to date, helping turn Kelsee Selman’s career around from a non-contributor with control issues in the previous year to an unlikely ace, an All-Big 12 first team selection, and one of the top pitchers in the country. Selman finished the year with a 24-9 record and 1.86 ERA, closing out her senior season ranked second in the Big 12 in wins (24), strikeouts (200) and shutouts (5), while pacing the conference in appearances (47) and innings pitched (225.1).
The magic continued into postseason with Newman calling two no-hitters for All-Big 12 second teamer Gia Rodoni in back-to-back outings. In her sophomore season, Rodoni managed to spin no-hitters against Kent State and James Madison, which entered the weekend with the nation’s top offense by average.
Rodoni became the eighth player in NCAA history to pitch multiple no-hitters in a single NCAA Tournament, joining the likes of Monica Abbott, Cat Osterman and Lisa Fernandez.
In 2016, she helped coach senior ace Heather Stearns to the conclusion of her remarkable career at Baylor, while coaching up the next group of pitching talent for the program. Stearns topped the Big 12 in strikeouts in 2015, marking the second consecutive year that a BU pitcher led the league.
In 2014, she saw the book closed on the illustrious career of Whitney Canion who was a member of the BU softball program for six years due to two medical redshirts. Newman saw Canion leave BU with virtually every career pitching record available and helped guide Canion’s last season where she tied her own single-season wins total in 2014 with 31, and witnessed her become the first, first-team All-American in program history.
In 2013, Baylor’s pitching staff was third in the Big 12 in ERA at 2.76 under Newman’s leadership. She saw Canion earn first team All-Big 12 honors and a second team All-Central Region selection by the NFCA.
After the loss of Canion just 14 games into the 2012 season, Newman mentored a pitching staff that finished 22nd in the country with a 1.91 ERA behind the effort of Liz Paul (1.93) and Courtney Repka (1.97). Her coaching in conference play guided the staff to finish fourth in ERA in conference games and earning a trip to the NCAA Lafayette Regional.
After winning the award three times as a student-athlete, Newman tutored her first All-American as a coach in 2011, as Canion earned second team honors. Under Newman’s tutelage, Canion needed less than two seasons to become Baylor’s all-time strikeouts leader, while also ranking in the Top 5 of nearly every pitching category. As a staff, the pitchers combined for a 1.52 ERA, third-lowest in program history. After helping take the Lady Bears to their second trip to the WCWS, Newman was part of a staff that was named the 2011 NFCA Division I Central Region Coaching Staff of the Year for the third time.
In 2010, Newman lost Canion for the final two months of the season with an arm injury and tutored a staff of just one scholarship pitcher, true freshman Repka, who became the ninth player in school history to record at least 20 wins in a season.
Newman helped guide the freshman, Canion, to the greatest season in program history in 2009. Canion broke single-season records in innings pitched (291.1), strikeouts (415) and 10-plus strikeout games (10). Under Newman’s tutelage, Canion became the first Baylor player to win Big 12 Freshman and Big 12 Pitcher of the Year. As part of a staff that led the Lady Bears to a regional title, she was named to the 2009 NFCA Division I Central Region Coaching Staff of the Year.
Newman, who was a member of the Baylor staff that was recognized as the 2007 NFCA Division I Midwest Region Coaching Staff of the Year, orchestrated a pitching staff that helped lead the Lady Bears to one of the greatest seasons in program history. Baylor finished with a 2.09 ERA as opponents hit just .216 against them.
Lisa Ferguson was the ace of Newman’s staff, compiling a 26-8 record and a 1.99 ERA, while earning All-Big 12 honors. Under Newman’s guidance, Ferguson became Baylor’s career leader in appearances, wins, saves and left as one of only three players up to that point to record over 600 career strikeouts.
Facing the toughest schedule in school history, Baylor continued its success under Newman in 2006 as the Lady Bears finished fourth in the Big 12 Conference with a .231 batting average against and a 2.46 ERA. Once again, the bullpen was a strength for the Lady Bears as Baylor led the league with seven saves in 2006.
Ferguson led the way for Newman’s staff during the 2006 season, as the junior hurler posted 20 wins on the season and earned All-Big 12 Conference and NFCA All-Midwest Region honors.
The success for the Baylor hurlers continued in 2005 as the pitching staff established a new school record for wins and helped Baylor claim its first regional title in school history. Once again, control was the focus of her pitching staff as Baylor led the Big 12 Conference in fewest walks per game with 1.45. In addition, Baylor led the league in saves for the second straight season, recording nine, as Tessa Lynam finished the year ranked 19th nationally with four saves.
Newman’s first season (2004) at Baylor saw her guide the Lady Bear pitchers to one of the most impressive seasons for a BU pitching staff in school history. Under her guidance, the Baylor pitchers established several school records on their way to qualifying for the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history.
In 2004, her pitching staff earned numerous honors as Ferguson was named Big 12 Conference Pitcher of the Week following her no-hitter against Auburn, while Cristin Vitek was an all-conference selection as well as a finalist for USA Softball Player of the Year.
One of the greatest pitching performances in NCAA history came under Newman’s guidance as Vitek established single-game NCAA, NCAA Tournament and Big 12 Conference records with 28 strikeouts against North Carolina to open the 2004 NCAA Softball Championships.
Prior to coaching, Newman was a three-time first team All-American, beginning her playing career at LSU under Moore. In those two years, she posted a 50-12 record in the circle with 482 strikeouts in just over 400 innings pitched.
In 2002, Newman was named NCAA Woman of the Year for the state of Louisiana. Twice during her career, she was a finalist for USA Softball Player of the Year.
Newman established LSU and Southeastern Conference single-season records for strikeouts in each of her final three seasons with the Tigers. She ranked second nationally in strikeouts per game as a senior, and her career strikeout total of 1,370 ranked second in NCAA history at the time she left the program.
Newman was named 2002 Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Year after going 34-7 with a 0.75 ERA and 478 strikeouts in 281.0 innings. She earned Louisiana Player of the Year and SEC all-tournament honors twice.
For her career, Newman was 120-25 with an ERA of 0.89. She tossed 106 complete games with 55 shutouts and six no-hitters. Sneed allowed just 489 hits and 184 walks in 976.1 career innings pitched. On Oct. 29, 2008, Newman was elected to the LSU Athletics Hall of Fame.
A native of Houston, Texas, Newman was a high school All-American at Cypress-Fair High School and was inducted into the school’s hall of fame. She holds SEC career records for wins, ERA, opponent batting average (.147), shutouts, strikeouts and strikeouts per seven innings (9.82).
The former Britni Sneed married Josh Newman and the couple has two sons, Bowen and Brooks.