Chelsea Farmer has been named the fifth head coach in University of Tennessee at Martin softball history, Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Kurt McGuffin announced today.

A proven winner in the circle and in the coaching ranks, Farmer takes the permanent position as head softball coach after serving as the acting head coach during the 2024 season. This past year the Skyhawks posted 30 wins which ranked as the second-most victories in the Ohio Valley Conference while notching just the program’s second 30-win season in the last eight campaigns. While at the helm, four players earned all-conference honors as the team qualified for the OVC Softball Championship field.

“This is so special to me,” Farmer said. “I would like to thank our Director of Athletics Kurt McGuffin, Chancellor Dr. Yancy Freeman, the search committee and the community that has supported me throughout my whole career. This is more than just a job for me, but rather an opportunity to continue to leave a legacy that is already started at UT Martin. I take a lot of pride in this program whether I am coaching or spectating, and I am just so excited to have this opportunity to get to work at a place I love.”

A decorated UT Martin pitcher from 2009-12, Farmer joined the Skyhawk coaching staff as an assistant prior to the 2020 season and served as the program’s pitching coach. The Skyhawk program has produced a 126-94 record (58-45 mark in OVC play) since Farmer joined the coaching staff of her alma mater while the program has qualified for the conference postseason tournament in three of four opportunities (the 2020 tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic).

Farmer has mentored 18 All-OVC performers and a pair of National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-Region honorees during her tenure. During the 2024 campaign, the Skyhawks led the OVC with a 2.50 team ERA and .957 fielding percentage while also boasting the league’s second-lowest opponent batting average of .235. Offensively, the squad ranked in the top half of the league in several categories, including hits, batting average, RBIs and OPS.

Prior to her stint back at her alma mater, Farmer spent the 2016 campaign as a volunteer assistant at Middle Tennessee State University while coaching for six years at the high school level at nearby Union City and Dresden.

“I am excited for this next era of our Skyhawk softball program,” McGuffin said. “Chelsea has been a valuable asset to our program for many years dating back to her playing days and more recently as an assistant coach. We believe she has the ability to rally people around our program and build on the standard that is Skyhawk softball. We hope that her unique experience as a player and coach at UT Martin along with her love for the school will propel us back into the championship conversation for years to come.”

A Tullahoma, Tenn. native, Farmer was inducted into the UT Martin Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2022. She was named OVC Pitcher of the Year, OVC Tournament Most Valuable Player, All-OVC first team and NFCA All-Region while shattering seven school records during her senior campaign. She was an integral member of four combined OVC championships in her career, helping the Skyhawks to their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 2009. She still ranks first in school history in wins (56), games started (91), innings pitched (555.1) and strikeouts (476).

Farmer graduated from UT Martin with a degree in secondary education in 2012 and earned her Master’s degree in education from Cumberland University in 2015.