Cristal Brown

ISU softball coach Cristal Brown, center, chats after her introductory press conference in July 2019 at the Pond Student Union Building on Idaho State University’s campus.

Idaho State announced Monday that softball coach Cristal Brown has resigned in the wake of an underachieving 2021 campaign in which the Bengals finished last in the Big Sky.

Brown began her first season 7-14 before COVID-19 canceled the season in early March. In her second year, ISU finished the year 12-27, a dismal season that included one midseason stretch where the Bengals lost 20 of 21 games.

“I appreciate the last two years leading ISU softball and am proud of the areas that I was able to impact in a positive way,” Brown said in a statement. “I look forward to supporting the team going forward as a ‘Berm Bum!’”

“We appreciate Cristal’s efforts,” Idaho State Director of Athletics Pauline Thiros said. “We wish the best for her as she moves forward with other opportunities.”

Brown was named head coach of the Bengals in July of 2019 after an eight-year run turning around Division III Whitworth University.

She was expected to rebuild Idaho State, which hadn’t had a winning season since 2016, in a similar way. She inherited a team that had finished 20-27 in 2019 under previous head coach Candi Letts, whose contract wasn’t renewed after the year. Brown was Thiros’ fourth head-coaching hire after she was named interim AD in August 2018.

Idaho State noted it will begin a national search immediately to find Brown’s replacement.