Mustang Softball Program Adds Gina Vecchione to Coaching Staff
MUSTANG ALUM LISA MODGLIN TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS ON AND OFF THE FIELD
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Eighth-year head coach Jenny Condon and the Cal Poly Athletics Department solidified the Mustang softball coaching staff on Monday afternoon with the announcement that Gina Vecchione has joined the program as an associate head coach ahead of the 2013 season.
Vecchione, who will work primarily with Cal Poly's hitters and outfielders and coach first base, arrives on the central coast after serving as an assistant for 13 seasons at UCLA (2000-12). With Vecchione on staff, the Bruins captured Women's College World Series championships in 2003, 2004 and 2010. Vecchione helped the 2010 UCLA championship squad set school records for home runs (108), slugging percentage (.602), on-base percentage (.432) and walks (244).
The Bruins, who appeared in the Women's College World Series championship game or series six times during Vecchione's tenure, also captured conference titles in 2002, 2006 and 2009. With Vecchione in the dugout, the Bruins produced a 609-160-1 (.791) record with UCLA's staff earning NFCA Division I National Coaching Staff of the Year praise in 2004 and 2010.
Vecchione fills the role vacated by Linda Garza, who departed the Mustang program in June to accept the head coaching position at UC Riverside. Assistant Ani Nyhus, entering her seventh year as Cal Poly's pitching coach in 2013, completes the Mustang staff.
"Gina's resume speaks for itself. She's excelled as a player and coach at every level in our sport and her experience of playing and coaching with national championship programs will be invaluable to our players," said Condon, who served as an assistant coach alongside Vecchione at Oregon State during the 1998 and 1999 seasons. "As a player, Gina was an incredible hitter and outfielder. However, what really sets Gina apart is her passion and enthusiasm for the game. Nobody loves the game more than Gina and she has the unique ability to instill that love in her players.
"I've had the pleasure of playing for her and coaching with her," added Condon, who won three National Women's Fastpitch League titles with the California Commotion under Vecchione. "I know from first-hand experience that Gina can improve any player or coach that she works with. I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to work with her again and I'm excited to see where she can help lead the Mustangs. She exudes all of the principles of the Mustang Way."
A three-time All-Pacific Region selection as a UCLA outfielder (1980-82), Vecchione is one of only four Bruins to have a number retired (2). After helping UCLA to the first NCAA championship as a senior in 1982, Vecchione was named to the All-Women's College World Series team and as an All-American. As a junior in 1981, Vecchione led UCLA in doubles (10) and RBI (21).
Vecchione, a 1997 inductee into the Amateur Softball Association Hall of Fame, began her coaching career as a volunteer assistant at UCLA. A member of the 1983 United States National Team that earned a silver medal at the Pan American Games, Vecchione was a seven-time All-ASA selection with the Raybestos Brakettes (Stratford, Conn.) and assisted the club to eight national championships in 12 seasons. She finished as the leading batter at the 1988 ASA national tournament with a .444 average.
At the collegiate level, Vecchione spent five seasons as an assistant coach at Oregon State (1995-99) before accepting a position with UCLA. During her final season in Corvallis alongside Condon, Vecchione helped the Beavers advance to the NCAA Regional championship game where Oregon State fell a victory shy of advancing to the program's first Women's College World Series.
A native of New Rochelle, N.Y., Vecchione earned a sociology degree from UCLA in 1984.