Staff
Head Coach
Sami Strinz-Ward

Sami Strinz-Ward returned to her alma mater in June 2014 joining the coaching staff for the Lions softball program. In January 2015, she was promoted from Assistant Coach to Associate Head Coach and on June 3, 2015, she was named the seventh Head Coach in the 33-year history of the program.
"It is always exciting to be able to name an alum to a coaching position," said LMU Director of Athletics Dr. Bill Husak."In Sami, we have someone who understands LMU and what we aspire to achieve in winning championships, graduating our students and helping them to become better people."

In her first season at the helm, Strinz-Ward guided the Lions to a 32-21 record and a second-place finish in the West Coast Conference and was named the WCC Co-Coach of the Year, while seven members of the Lions earned All-WCC honors. She guided the Lions to lead the nation in doubles (106) and doubles per game (2.00), while Alicia Brown finished with a single-season record with 20 two-baggers and Meghan von Behren led the league with a .421 batting average.

Strinz-Ward helped guide the Lions to a second place finish in the West Coast Conference in 2014. Working closely with the pitching staff, she guided lefty Rachael Farrington to a 20-15 record, 2.90 ERA, six shutouts and .291 opponent batting average. Those numbers led the sophomore First Team All-WCC selection to be named LMU's Female Most Improved Athlete of the year after she had posted a 6-11 record, 4.81 ERA and .339 opponent batting average in 2014.

Prior to returning to her alma mater, Strinz-Ward spent the 2013 and 2014 seasons as co-head coach for the NCAA Division II Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She led the Urban Knights in their first year competing as an NCAA institution and, over the two-year span, developed four Pac West All-Conference honorees, four PWC Players of the Week, eight PWC All-Academic honorees and one Capital One Academic All-District Team member. Her 2013 squad led the PWC in saves while her 2014 team broke the program's team single-season doubles record, while two individuals broke the school career RBI record.

Strinz-Ward is no stranger to the West Coast Conference as she was on staff at Saint Mary's in 2012, helping lead the Gaels to the Pacific Coast Softball Conference Coastal Division Championship.

Prior to SMC, Strinz-Ward spent four seasons (2008-11) coaching at the University of North Dakota, leading the Fighting Sioux to their first conference championship in program history in 2010 and helped the program put up all-time offensive numbers in runs scored, hits, home runs, stolen bases and walks.

A pitcher/utility player throughout her career in an Lion uniform, Strinz-Ward's name remains scattered throughout the LMU record book. She ranks in the career top 10 in at bats (633), hits (192), RBIs (110), doubles (34), home runs (29), pitching appearances (110), wins (42), complete games (30), saves (4), innings pitched (438.2), strikeouts (223) and ERA (2.28)

Strinz-Ward was named PCSC Player of the Year in 2003, leading the Lions to the league's inaugural championship. LMU was the PCSC runner-up her senior season in 2004. She earned All-Western Athletic Conference honors in 2002 and was a back-to-back first team All-PSCS pick in 2003 and 2004. She also earned NFCA All-Region honors in 2003 and 2004.

Prior to her time at North Dakota, Strinz-Ward served as the head coach at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, SD, for two seasons. After inheriting a program that had averaged five wins over the previous five seasons, she engineered a two-year turnaround that saw the Tigers win a school-record 17 games in 2007.

Her first stint in the coaching world was in 2005 when she spent the season as an assistant at Louisiana Tech.

Strinz-Ward, a native of Keizer, OR, earned her bachelor's degree in liberal studies with a minor in sociology from LMU in 2004. She went on to earn her Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction from Dakota Wesleyan University in 2008.

Strinz-Ward and her husband, Randy Ward, have two daughters, Ryli and Hayli.

Assistant Coach
Randy Ward

Randy Ward joined the Lions softball coaching staff in June 2014 and serves as the team's primary hitting coach.

Ward guided the offense to new heights in 2015 as the Lions led the nation in doubles (106) and doubles per game (2.00). Alicia Brown finished with a single-season record with 20 two-baggers, while Meghan von Behren led the league in batting average with a .421 clip. The Lions led the league in batting average (.309), slugging percentage (.515), on base percentage (.387), doubles (106), home runs (60) and total bases (723).

Serving as co-head coach along with Sami Strinz, Ward spent the 2013 and 2014 seasons at NCAA Division II Academy of Art University in San Francisco. They led the Urban Knights to a 33-66 overall record (26-38 in the Pacific West Conference) during their tenure, finishing eighth in the PacWest each season.

With several years of Division I coaching experience, Ward joined Academy of Art after serving as an assistant coach for a Saint Mary's team that captured the 2012 Pacific Coast Softball Conference Coastal Division Championship.

After joining the SMC coaching staff in 2011, Ward helped the Gaels finish the 2012 season with a 26-23 record and stood atop the Coastal Division of the PCSC, posting a program-best 15-4 record in conference. As the hitting coach, Ward helped the Gaels finish in the top five in the conference in almost every statistical offensive category. The Gaels also hit a school-record 38 home runs and had a program-best .289 team batting average in 2012.

Ward brought a multitude of experience to the SMC program after having spent four seasons (2008-11) as the associate head coach at the University of North Dakota, specializing with hitters. In his time with UND, Ward led the Fighting Sioux to their first conference championship in program history in 2010 and helped the program put up all-time offensive numbers in runs scored, hits, home runs, stolen bases and walks.

Prior to arriving at North Dakota, Ward spent the 2007 season as an assistant coach at the University of Northern Iowa, where he worked specifically with the team's hitters and outfielders.

Ward was also the head softball coach at Nora Springs Rock Falls High School in Nora Springs, IA where he helped the team to offensive records in home runs, batting average, runs scored, and runs batted in. Before that, he spent three seasons as an assistant softball coach at North Iowa Arena Community College.

Ward, a native of Mason City, IA, graduated from Northern Iowa in 2005 with a bachelor's degree in family services.

Ward and his wife, Sami-Strinz-Ward, have two daughters, Ryli and Hayli.

Assistant Coach
Brittany Miller

Former University of Iowa standout Brittany Miller was named an assistant coach on Sept. 1, 2016 and will be primarily working with the pitching staff this season.

“We are thrilled to add Brittany to our staff,” remarked Strinz-Ward. “She has a wealth of experience working high-level pitchers and helping them reach their potential and lead their teams to post season. Brittany can lead our pitchers from her experience as a high-level player as well. Hiring Brittany is one more positive step in elevating our program. We are excited to have Brittany and her family become Lions!”

Miller spent the past four seasons at Iowa State, where she guided the pitching staff to three no-hitters. Under Miller’s tutelage, Brittany Gomez finished with the most decorated career in Cyclone history as she amassed 46 school records, while Stacy Roggentien posted a breakout season in 2015, improving from four strikeouts in her junior campaign to 111 the following season as the team’s ace.

Prior to her time in Ames, Miller spent three seasons at North Dakota State, where she served as a graduate assistant for one season before being named an assistant coach. In Fargo, Miller guided the Bison to three straight Summit League Tournament championships to go with a trio of NCAA tournament appearances. She was instrumental in leading Krista Menke to both Summit League Freshman and Pitcher of the Year honors along with a nod to the NFCA All-Midwest Region second team in 2012.

One of the most decorated players in Iowa softball history, Miller was a four-time All-Big Ten selection, three-time NFCA All-Midwest Region honoree, two-time Big Ten Pitcher of the Year and a NFCA All-American second team member in 2009.

The only player in Iowa history to earn Team MVP honors all four seasons, Miller saved her best for last in 2009 as she obliterated the Hawkeye record books, setting career marks in strikeouts (1,083), complete games (110), innings pitched (1,011.2), games pitched (183) and set the single season strikeout mark (339).

The No. 7 overall pick in the 2009 NPF draft, Miller played two seasons for the Akron Races, posting a 4-3 record to go with a 2.28 ERA and guided the Racers to two postseason appearances.

A native of Garden Grove, California, Miller received her bachelor’s degree in communication studies from Iowa in 2009. Miller and her husband, Tavis, have five children, Zatyvion (15), Lataviah (14), Tajavis (13), Tryce (3) and Tytan (1).