Todd Downes starts his third season as a member of the Georgia State softball coaching staff during the 2014 season. Downes joined the Georgia State softball program in the fall of 2011 as an assistant coach.
GSU has posted a 74-37 record (.667) in the two seasons with Downes on the staff and has claimed three wins over top-25 ranked teams in that span. The team had a record three players earn all-region honors in 2013.
Prior to coming to Georgia State, Downes spent four years as an assistant coach at Georgia Tech where he coordinated recruiting and assisted with all aspects of the program.
During his coaching tenure, the Yellow Jackets captured two ACC conference championships, made four NCAA Regional appearances and advanced to the first NCAA Super Regional in school history. He coached six All-Conference selections and two Easton All-Americans.
Prior to entering the college ranks, Downes worked as a high school head coach, serving at Walton High School and Kell High School. Both schools won state titles under his guidance and Downes was named the state coach of the year in each of those seasons.
For nine years, Downes has also coached the East Cobb Bullets 18-under premier league team. The Bullets captured the ASA 18 Gold National Championship in 2010.
A Roswell, Ga. native, Downes graduated from Kennesaw State in 1988 with a bachelor’s in Health and Education and then earned a master’s in Sports Administration from Georgia in 1990. He also received an EdS in Administrative Supervision from Lincoln Memorial University.
Mackenzie Popescue joined the Georgia State softball staff as the team’s pitching coach in July of 2014. A native of Scottsdale, Ariz., Popescue comes to Atlanta after an illustrious career as a player at Arizona State.
In her first season at GSU, the Panthers went 38-22 and finished third in the Sun Belt conference while climbing to 42nd in the RPI. The Panthers had two pitchers record double-digit wins, including Taylor Thorpe who tallied a 17-6 record after winning just three games in 2014. On March 7, Katie Worley threw GSU’s first no-hitter since 2011, another testament to Popescue’s impact on the program.
Popescue finished with a career ERA of 2.12 with 59 wins, three no-hitters, four all-conference selections and won the 2011 national championship during her time with the Sun Devils. She was also twice named to the NFCA All-Region team.
As a redshirt senior, Popescue finished 2014 with a 20-3 record and a 2.15 ERA which earned NFCA West All-Region first-team honors and the Pac-12 All-Conference second team. She threw her third career no-hitter against Southern Mississippi en route to an 8-0 victory in five innings.
In 2013, she posted a 1.94 ERA with 19 wins, three saves and opened the season with a perfect 13-0 record in non-conference play. Popescue pitched a career-high 140.2 innings, including an inning in Super Regional play and 5.1 innings in two games at the Women’s College World Series. She was named to the NFCA All-Region second team and the Pac-12 All-Conference second team.
During her redshirt sophomore campaign in 2012, Popescue threw her first career no-hitter against Wichita State in an 11-0 win in five innings. She finished the season with 51.2 innings pitched with a 2.30 ERA and 7-2 overall record.
As a redshirt freshman, she posted a 13-3 overall record and a 2.22 ERA through 97.2 innings pitched as her team went on to win the Women’s College World Series. Popescue was named Pac-10 Academic All-Conference team honorable mention, Pac-10 All-Conference honorable mention and selected to the Pac-10 All-Freshman team.
Popescue graduated from Arizona State in 2014 with a degree in exercise and wellness and a minor in nutrition.