Stephanie Best enters her second season as the Knights' assistant coach in 2009. Best works specifically as the Knights' hitting coach and works closely with the infielders.
Prior to being named an assistant in 2008, Best spent three seasons as a volunteer assistant coach with the Knights, providing hitting instruction and aiding in day-to-day practice operations.
Along with being familiar with the program and the student-athletes, Best also brings a wealth of top-level playing experience to the coaching staff. Since becoming the first UCF athlete to be drafted by the National Pro Fastpitch league (NPF) in 2005 by the New England Riptide, Best has competed at the professional level for four years, while also serving as a mentor to intercity youth and running camps and clinics to teach youth the skills associated with the game of softball.
In 2007, Best and the Washington Glory won the 2007 NPF Championship, the World Series of professional softball.
Best was one of the first members of the UCF softball team, joining the squad in its inaugural season in 2002. Best still holds records for career batting average (.384), runs scored (216), RBI (213), hits (285), home runs (71), slugging percentage (.756), total bases (562), on-base percentage (.487), walks (147), intentional walks (28), assists (558) and games played (272). The slugger also holds numerous season and game records, which includes her record of 11 RBI vs. Army on March 19, 2003, where Best tied the NCAA record for RBI in a game and was named the NFCA/Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week after hitting three home runs, including two grand slams in the same inning.
Her 71 career home runs still rank in the NCAA Division I top-10, while her 26 round-trippers in 2005 led the nation.
During her playing career, the shortstop became the most decorated softball player in UCF history. The Fort Mill, S.C., native was a NCAA National Woman of the Year nominee in 2005, and also earned her third-consecutive Atlantic Sun Player of the Year distinction the same year. Best earned Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-Southeast Region honors as a sophomore, junior and senior, while also being named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America squad the same three seasons.
Best graduated from UCF with a degree in liberal studies in 2006, and remained at her alma mater to earn her master's degree in sports and fitness in 2008.