By Taylor Glaze |Staff Writer|
The Coyote softball program turns 29 this year. It started in 1987, 22 years after Cal State San Bernardino opened in ’65.
The Women’s College World Series, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championship, began in 1982, and it was not long after (five years) that CSUSB was able to create a softball program.
From 1987 to 1989, the team was under head coach Jo Anne Bly. She coached for three consecutive seasons, winning a total of 62 games and losing 42.
Bly was one of six coaches who has been a part of the program over the years along with Sue Strain who was with them for three seasons from 1990 to 1993 and had a record of 84 wins and 100 losses overall.
Roxanne Berch had a 241-284 overall record while coaching from 1994 to 2002.
Dawn Castaneda, who was the fourth head coach for the program, had a 38-129 overall record from 2003 to 2005.
Tacy Duncan had 234 wins and 268 losses from 2006 to 2014.
Duncan and Berch both coached the longest for the school at eight seasons each.
Bly and current head coach Jim Maier were the only two coaches to have more wins then loses in their overall records.
The Coyotes played in NCAA Division II and have made two NCAA tournament appearances (2008 and 2011).
In college sports, there are three divisions schools can play in.
Division I schools are the big leagues of college athletes. This includes publicly known organizations that are well funded and have a lot of scholarships.
Division II, which CSUSB plays in, is considered the middle child of the NCAA. It is not as competitive as D1 schools nor driven by as much money, but still focuses on the balance between being an athlete and student.
Division III schools are the lowest of the NCAA and have the least amount of pressure on college sports.
The Coyote softball program actually started as a division III school and transitioned up to a division II program in the season of 1992.
In 2008, they went 2-2 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association [CCAA] tournament and 2-2 in the NCAA West Regional tournament.
Duncan was honored in ’08 with the title of CCAA Coach of the Year.
The team was also the NCAA West Super Regional Finalist and ranked 15th nationally in 2011.
The Coyotes best season record was in 1998 under head coach Roxanne Berch. They won a total of 41 games and it still remains the highest to date.
Maier, our current coach, started with the Coyotes in 2015 and accepted the position just one month before the season opener.
He had great success in his previous 14 seasons coaching at Cal State Dominguez Hills and brought that over to the Coyote softball program.
In his first season, the Coyotes finished 28-24 overall and won 20 CCAA games for the first time in school history.
Coyotes placed three players on the All-CCAA squad. They were led by All-American shortstop Nicole Nobbe, pitcher Cassandra Williams and center fielder Victoria Lievanos.
The last time the Coyotes won more than 30 games was in 2011 under Duncan, 35-24. This season, they broke that four-year streak and finished with a 32-23 record with Maier.
The future of Coyote softball is looking bright as the program and team continue to grow and create new history.