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RALEIGH, N.C. – Shaw University Director of Athletics George Knox has announced Mercedes Hargett as the new head coach of the Lady Bears softball program Thursday. Hargett becomes the ninth head coach in program history.

"I am excited to have Mercedes at Shaw University," added Knox. "I chose Coach Hargett because I think she can win championships here; I think she can build a national championship program and she had a great recruiting plan. I look forward to some very excited things out of our softball program with her at the helm."

Prior to Shaw, Hargett spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Division I, Grambling State University in Grambling, La.,  where she was responsible for creating and executing practices, day-to-day operations and worked closely with compliance to ensure the student-athletes were progressing in the classroom and working towards their respective degrees.

"I am extremely thankful to Shaw University for allowing me the opportunity to become part of the Bear family," said Hargett. "Not only does this position present a chance for me to grow the softball culture here at the university, but I am able to do so in a conference that gave everything to me as a student-athlete.

Additionally, Hargett got her first collegiate opportunity at Alabama A&M University where she helped the Bulldogs to a Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) East Division Co-Champion award as an assistant coach in 2018

Hargett graduated from Winston-Salem State University with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology in 2017. As a student-athlete for the Rams softball team, Hargett was a 2X Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Champion (2016 and 2014), 2X NCAA Softball Regional qualifier (2016 and 2014), 4X CIAA All-Tournament recipient (2017, 2016, 2015, 2014), First-Team All-CIAA (2016 and 2015), Tournament Most Valuable Player (2016) and named to the CIAA's All-Rookie Team (2014)

"Collegiate sports are more than just business and wins. This is about growing the next generation through competition, mentorship and giving back. What better place to do it than right here at home? I am excited about the future of Shaw U softball and I cannot wait to help these young women grow as athletes and professionals."

A native of Havelock N.C., Hargett is anticipating her start date on Monday, Nov. 16.

For the most up-to-date information on Shaw athletics and its 13 varsity sport teams, visit