Softball - Coaches
Sabrina Manhart starts her eighth season as Daytona State College's head coach. After her seventh year at Daytona State many of her Lady Falcons have chosen to continue their playing careers. You can find some of Manhart's most talented former players on rosters at UGA, UF, UNF, USC Aiken, Mississippi State, FAU, FL Gulf Coast, Delaware State, Marshall, Binghamton University, Morehead State University, U of Wisconsin Green Bay, Towson, UWF, Rollins, Nova Southeastern, Valdosta State, Ball State, West Georgia, Armstrong Atlantic, Limestone, Newberry, SCAD, Webber International, Brewton Parker, and William Jewell College.
Manhart's seven teams have produced 26 All-Conference selections, two Mid-FL Conference Pitchers of the Year, four All-State selections, one All Region, and one All American selection. Multiple players have also been selected as second team and honorable mention over the years. In 2013 Daytona State had one named Second team All-State, three First Team All-Conference, four Second Team All-Conference, and three Honorable Mention selections. The softball team has also been recognized for their outstanding community service year after year.
More important than the athletic accomplishments are the academic achievements of Manhart's student-athletes. The team was named the FCCAA Female Academic Team of the Year in 2010. Over her tenure she has had multiple players named Mid-Florida Conference Scholar Athletes, FCCAA All-Academic Team, NJCAA Academic All Americans, NJCAA Distinguished Academic All Americans, and Who's Who Among National Junior Colleges. One student-athlete has received the renowned Jean Williams Award.
Some of Manhart's most memorable coaching moments were in the fall of 2010 and 2011. The Lady Falcons competed against the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) All-Stars when the NPF Back-to-School Tour stopped in Daytona Beach.
Manhart is an eight year member of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. She is a Two-Star Master Coach through the National Fastpitch Coaches College. She completed the required coursework under the tutelage of Hall of Fame coaches such as Sharon Drysdale, Gayle Blevins, Cindy Bristow, Eugene Lenti, and Rhonda Revelle to name a few.
Coach Manhart graduated from Woodham High School in Pensacola, FL. She began her collegiate playing career at Daytona Beach Community College where she received her AA degree and was named Mid Florida Conference Scholar athlete, Academic All-American, FCCAA All-Academic Team, and Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges.
She earned her BS in Physical Education and Health from Bethune-Cookman College where she finished her playing career with the Wildcats winning back to back MEAC conference championships and advanced to NCAA regionals. As a Wildcat she was honored with MEAC All-Tournament Team, Preston S. Peterson Athletic Award, Softball Scholastic Award, Academic Merit Award, and graduated ranked academically number 1 in her class. Manhart is also a graduate of Nova Southeastern University with a Masters degree in Health Science.
After graduation Manhart spent two years as an assistant coach at DBCC working with the outfielders and catchers. She taught physical education at Seabreeze High School for three years and served as the head softball coach and assistant swim coach where she was named Head Female Coach of the Year twice.
Coach Manhart has been married to her husband, VCSO Deputy Stan Manhart, for eleven years. They enjoy spending their free time with their children, McKenzie (5) and Dempsey (3).
Alissa Smith is in her fourth season as assistant coach at Daytona State College. She came to Daytona State College after a 10 year stint of coaching at the Division I level. Alissa served as an assistant coach at Bethune Cookman University from 1999 - 2005, and then served as the assistant at The University of Maryland from 2005 – 2009. Alissa's responsibilities include working with the Daytona State offense, working with the infield, recruiting and overseeing of camps and clinics.
Smith's coaching accomplishments include:
1.) At B-CC, Smith helped lead the Wildcats to five straight Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) championships from 1999-2004 with corresponding NCAA regional appearances.
2.) In 2005, the team also won the NCAA Regional at Gainesville, Fla., and advanced to the NCAA Super Regional. B-CC won 49 games and finished No. 18 in the final Top 25 poll of the season.
3.) The National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) awarded South Region Coaching Staff of the Year in 2005.
Smith's collegiate career began at Daytona Beach Community College, where she played her freshman and sophomore seasons, earning her team's Gold Glove Award her second year. Smith then transferred to Florida A&M University, where she received her degree in psychology. While at Florida A&M University she played second base and shortstop and helped lead the Rattlers claim a MEAC title her senior season. Smith earned her team's defensive player of the year award that year.
Smith worked as a pharmacy technician in Orlando for two years before joining Bethune-Cookman's coaching staff as an assistant. Smith also received a degree in Management from the University of Phoenix. Alissa Smith is single and resides in Daytona Beach, FL.
This is Cathy Benedict's first season at Daytona State College as the pitching coach. She comes to us after taking a short break from coaching to start a family. Benedict was born and raised in Richmond, BC, Canada. She comes to us with great knowledge and love of the sport.
Benedict has five years of collegiate coaching experience acting as the pitching coach at both Thomas University (2006) and Lake Sumter Community College (2008-2011) in the past. Some of her pitchers have moved on from Lake Sumter to FIT, Webber University, Warner University, and Rockhurst University.
She began her collegiate career at Indian River Community College and then transferred to Lake City Community College where she was named 1st Team All-American.
Benedict finished her playing career with an outstanding performance at Thomas University in Thomasville, GA. In her junior year at Thomas won the NAIA National championship. Benedict’s honors included 1st team All American, National Tournament MVP, All Tournament Team, All Regional Team, and Athlete of the Week. In her senior season Thomas University placed 3rd at the NAIA National Championship. Her honors included 1st team All American, Regional Player of the Year, Athlete of the Week, and a Coach's Award.
Benedict also brings international playing experience with her. She was invited to participate in Team Canada’s training camp. In 2005 she was a played for Team Canada at the World University Games.
Benedict resides in Ormond Beach, Florida with her husband Jonathan Benedict of 6 years and son Cael (2).