Assistant AD / Student-Athlete Services / Head Softball Coach
With over 20 years of experience with the Augusta Jaguars, head softball coach and assistant athletic director Melissa Brocato remains a vital member of the athletic department. Entering her 22nd season in 2019-20, Brocato runs the Jaguar softball program and serves as the Assistant Athletic Director for Internal Affairs
Brocato has spent her entire coaching career in Augusta and enters the 2020 season with 523-549-1 (.487) overall career record.
She is the winningest coach in the Jaguar softball program’s history, having led the Jags to 523 wins in 21 seasons while producing an Academic All-American (Kacee Camp, 2012) and an All-American (Kristen Jones, 2011) along with 19 All-Region selections -- Katrina Leverett (2001), Jenny Davis (2003), Jessica Matta (2005), Amy Dumas (2006, 2007 & 2008), Courtney Smith (2006), Paige Phillips (2007), Alyssa Pingree (2008), Kacee Camp and Jessica Thornton (2009), Sara DeMuth and Kristen Jones (2010) and Jones, Camp and Thornton (2011), Camp (2012), and Paige Deschaine and Brooke Stephens (2015).
Brocato brought her 2015 squad back into the NCAA Tournament with a trip to the NCAA Southeast Regional as the number-three seed. The berth to the postseason was the sixth for the Jags all time - highlighted by four straight appearances from 2009-2012. Also in 2015, the Peach Belt Conference announced that Augusta's Paige Deschaine, Brooke Stephens, Molly Walton, and Hannah Wilson all were named to the 2015 All-Conference team.
In 2012, the Jaguars made their fourth straight NCAA Regional appearance and fifth in the last five seasons en route to a 33-18 record.
Brocato guided her squad to a school-record 40 victories and to the Jags’ third NCAA Regional appearance in the last four seasons in 2010. She also produced three, first-team, All-Peach Belt Conference selections in sophomores Sara DeMuth, Kristen Jones and Jessica Thornton. On Feb. 27, Brocato registered the 300th victory of her career in a 5-4 home win over UNC Pembroke. In 2013, the Jaguars beat King College on March 23 to give Brocato her 400th career win.
Brocato led the Jaguars to what was at the time the winningest season in school history in 2007 when they racked up 39 wins and made their first-ever NCAA postseason appearance, advancing to the semifinals of the NCAA South Atlantic Regional in Columbus, Ga.. They capped their season by earning the first national ranking in the program’s history, finishing the year No. 18 in the nation.
A native of King, N.C., Brocato took over the Jaguar softball program in September of 1998 after serving one year as the junior varsity coach for Campbell University. In addition to her coaching duties at Campbell, Brocato served as a graduate assistant for academic services, Co-Advisor of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, assistant camp director at the Conquest Christian Sports Camp and advisor for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Brocato received her B.S. in Exercise Science from Campbell in 1996 and her M. Ed. in May of 1998. A four-year starter at third base for the Camel softball team, Brocato helped lead the program to two conference championships and one NCAA Regional appearance.
A two-time Big South Conference and Trans America Athletic Conference all-tournament selection and an all- conference honorable mention selection, Brocato was a four-year member of the Big South and TAAC’s All-Academic Team and was twice named to the GTE Academic All-District Team.
Brocato played for the Carolina Diamonds Pro Fastpitch Team during the 1998 season. Brocato enjoys traveling and has had the opportunity to teach and play softball all over the world.
Formerly Melissa Mullins, Brocato married Matt Brocato on January 11, 2014 in Augusta, Ga.
Evan Smith enters his 10th year with the Jaguar Softball program for the 2020 season and has climbed from the top assistant to the associate head coach. Smith managed the middle infield as a player for the Augusta Jaguar baseball team from 2006-2010 and he has remained on the diamond in Augusta with the softball program under head coach Melissa Brocato.
On Sept. 13, 2016 Smith was promoted to associate head coach by Director of Athletics Clint Bryant. He is involved in all aspects of the program, from gameday management and field maintenance, to prepping players and scouting opponents. Smith also is in charge of infield and hitters and helps manage travel and administrative needs.
Augusta returned to the Peach Belt Conference Tournament in 2018 as the seventh seed. In 2015, Smith helped lead Paige Deschaine, Brooke Stephens, Molly Walton, and Hannah Wilson to Peach Belt All-Conference honors, while the team reached the regional tournament.
During his tenure so far, Smith has helped the Diamond Jags to three NCAA Southeast Regional appearances and helped produce two All-Americans (Kacee Camp, 2012 / Kristen Jones, 2011).
A graduate of Augusta State in December 2010, Smith lettered in baseball for three years, spending time in the middle infield at 2B/SS. He played in 121 career games, starting 105 of them. He sported a career .271 batting average and scored 73 runs as a top of the lineup threat, while also turning 48 double plays on the infield.
Smith was named a GSAC All-Conference honoree after his freshmen season at La Grange College. He transferred to ASU in 2006 for his remaining years of eligibility. He batted .378 in his first season as a Jaguar, good for second on the team behind All-American Shannon Wilkerson.
During his player career with the Jaguars, Smith was a SAAC member.
He earned his Master's Degree in Kinesiology from Augusta State in 2012. Smith married the former Kellen O'Neill of Lincolnton, Ga., on June 23, 2012.