After six seasons of developing talent and extensive Texas recruiting ties as a member of the Houston Softball staff, Kristin Vesely has been named the second head coach in the program's history, Houston Vice President for Athletics Hunter Yurachek announced Friday morning.
Vesely originally joined the Houston family in 2011 as the Cougars' assistant coach before being promoted to associate head coach in 2014.
"This is a huge accomplishment in my life and fulfills one of my biggest goals that I have aspired to reach ever since falling in love with the game at an early age," said Vesely. "This achievement means so much to me in the fact of having the ability to establish a new tradition and a new history to an already great program.
"When people watch the University of Houston, they are going to see a team that is passionate about the game, our University and our city. They are also going to see a team that plays extremely aggressive as it will be a team that is predicated on being mentally and physically tough. I cannot thank Hunter Yurachek and DeJuena Chizer enough for this opportunity and look forward to building Champions for Life with this exceptional program."
Vesely has guided the Cougar Offense to some of the best hitting statistics in the program’s 16-year lifespan. In her six seasons, the Cougars have averaged 431 hits and a .287 batting average. Her leadership has also led to 284 home runs and 3,916 total bases in the six-year stretch.
Former Texas A&M All-American Megan Gibson-Lofting joined Houston Softball as assistant coach on July 7, 2016.
Known for her illustrious pitching career, Gibson-Loftin will oversee the Cougars' pitching staff.
"Megan is a great addition to the coaching staff with her experience as a player and a coach. She has competed at the highest levels and has been successful making an impact at the programs she has coached," Vesely said. "She has a quiet confidence about her and has the ability to connect with the pitchers to get the most out of them as competitors. I expect great things from her and the pitching staff this upcoming year."
"I am really excited to be a part of the Houston Softball program. I grew up in the area, so I am very familiar with UH and the players in the Greater Houston area," Gibson-Loftin said. "I am excited to work with Coach Vesely and am grateful for the opportunity to work at a university while staying near to my family."
Former Oklahoma All-American Jessica Shults will join the Houston Softball coaching staff as assistant coach, head coach Kristin Vesely announced Tuesday afternoon.
“Jessica’s passion for the game is contagious. At Oklahoma, she has won a national championship as a player as well as a staff member. Her experience with winning tradition the past few years, will be a huge value to our staff,” Vesely said. “She will have an immediate impact on working with our catchers and I expect to see their skills grow tremendously. Jessica will also play a big part in our Cougar offense. I expect great things and couldn’t be happier with the addition to the staff.”
Shults comes to Houston after spending two seasons as a graduate assistant with the 2016 National Champions Oklahoma Softball team. She will be responsible for the catchers and play a vital role in the Cougars offense.
“I am excited to be a part of the University of Houston softball program. I am looking forward to making this city my new home. I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to working alongside Coach Vesely and Coach Gibson-Loftin,” Shults said.