Head Coach Megan Smith

University of Kansas Head Coach Megan Smith just completed her sixth season as the head coach of the Jayhawks. The eighth head coach in program history, Smith's sixth season continued the trend of setting program records as she guided the Jayhawks to their second-straight NCAA Tournament. Coach Smith directly oversees the Jayhawk infielders and also helps with hitting instruction. 

Smith came to KU from LSU, where she served as an assistant coach for three seasons.  While in Baton Rouge, Smith helped lead LSU to three regional appearances and one super regional appearance.  Prior to LSU, Smith was the head coach at Western Carolina University.  In her only year at Western, Smith led the Catamounts to the Southern Conference Championship in the programs first year of existence and was named the Southern Conference Coach of the Year.  Smith came to Western Carolina from the University of North Carolina, where she served as an assistant coach.  Smith, who is from North Carolina, was also a four-year letter winner and captain for the Tar Heels.

Smith started her coaching career at Young Harris College in Georgia.  After serving as the head coach of the Mountain Lions for three seasons, she left to become the assistant coach at UNC-Charlotte.

Smith and her husband, the late Paul Buske, have a son, Cooper Smith Buske.

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Associate Head Coach John Rittman

Rittman re-joins Kansas softball after 18 seasons as the head coach at Stanford University and nine years on the United States National Team coaching staff (2001-08, & 2016).

Under Rittman, the Cardinal recorded 18-consecutive winning seasons, made 16-straight NCAA appearances, notched 13 40-win seasons and produced at least one All-American in 15 of the last 17 years. At Stanford, Rittman accumulated a 750-351-3 overall mark, coached a national player of the year, 16 All-Americans, five Super Regional appearances, two Women's College World Series appearacnes and maintained a spot in every regular-season National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) poll for more than a decade.

In the summer of 2008, Rittman made his second coaching appearance in the Olympic Games, and was an integral part of the staff that led Team USA to a silver medal in Beijing, China. The squad won its first eight games of the tournament, most by considerable margins, and outscored opponents 58-5 over the nine games.

In 2004, Rittman made his first appearance as an assistant coach for the U.S. Olympic Team, guiding former Stanford player Mendoza and the rest of the team to a gold medal in Athens, Greece.

Back at Kansas, Rittman will once again be in charge of outfielders, hitting, and offensive strategies.


Assistant Coach Abbie Butler

Abbie (Sims) Butler enters her fifth season as an assistant coach at Kansas after joining the Jayhawks as the pitching coach in June 2012.

At Kansas, Sims will prepare and manage the Jayhawk pitching staff, lead the KU Softball pitching and catching camps as well as assist Smith and fellow assistant coach TJ Hubbard with recruiting.

Sims, a former All-American pitcher at NC State, spent the past five years at the University of Houston, where her pitching staff led the nation in ERA in 2010.  As a student-athlete, Sims became the first-ever NC State softball player to be named ACC Player of the Year in 2007. As Sims departed the Wolfpack she owned many of the program's all-time pitching records including: lowest career ERA (1.69), lowest opponent batting average (.179), wins (90), saves (5), appearances (146), starts (121), complete games (102), games finished (25), shutouts (36), innings pitched (836.2), strikeouts (1,091) and batters faced (3,491).

Since graduating with a bachelor's degree in business management, Sims played one season with the Rockford Thunder of the National Pro Fastpitch league in Rockford, Ill.

Volunteer Assistant Coach
Jessica "George" Hancock

Beginning her first season as the Jayhawks' volunteer assistant coach, Hancock comes to Lawrence after spending the last six seasons as the pitching coach at the University of Pacific in California. She joined the Tigers' coaching staff after finishing her pitching career at UC Davis in 2009.

As a player, Hancock was a three-time all-conference honoree in the circle for the Aggies and enjoyed immense success in the circle throughout her five years at UC Davis. As a senior, Hancock led the conference with 172 strikeouts and was fifth in ERA (1.85). She also finished with 13 wins, five shutouts and 14 complete games. Her efforts earned her a spot on the All-Big West honorable mention team.

As a junior, Hancock posted 17 wins with 225 strikeouts and a 2.42 ERA in 43 appearances. For her play, Hancock was named a First-Team All-Big West pitcher, earning her second-straight first-team honor after picking up First-Team All-Division I Independent honors.

A native of Long Beach, California, Hancock earned a bachelor's degree in communications from UC Davis in 2009.