Former Sacramento State softball player Andrea Becker was recently named as an assistant men's volleyball coach at UCLA. Becker is an assistant professor in the kinesiology department at Cal State Fullerton, and will take a one-year sabbatical from Fullerton to serve on UCLA's coaching staff as a sports psychologist.
A native of Martinez, Calif., Becker played four seasons for the Hornets (1997-01), serving as a team captain each of her final two years. She appeared in 118 career games with the Hornets, including 102 starts (63 at second base, 39 at shortstop). Always one of the toughest players on the squad, Becker played her entire career with a herniated disc and degenerative disc disease, an injury which forced her to redshirt in 2007.
A four-time National Fastpitch Coaches Association Scholar-Athlete award recipient and 2001 Verizon Academic all-District VIII selection, Becker graduated Summa Cum Laude from Sacramento State in the spring of 2001 with a 3.86 grade point average. She later earned her Master's of Science (Kinesiology - Sports Performance) from Sacramento State in 2004 with a 4.00 gpa.
She was awarded the A.W. Hobt Teaching Award for the 2004-05 academic year at Sacramento State, and received the Lloyd O. Snelson Award in 2000, given to the Hornet student-athlete that has excelled academically and athletically in the face of extreme hardship.
Prior to her appointment at UCLA, Becker won a national championship last spring as a member of the UC Irvine men's volleyball coaching staff. UCI won the MPSF Tournament crown and defeated top-ranked USC in three sets to capture the national title.
Becker received her PhD in Sport Studies from the University of Tennessee in 2007 where she also worked in the Volunteer athletics department providing sport psychology services to athletes, coaches and teams. In her final year at Tennessee, she was honored with the Edward A. Capen Research Award and the Extraordinary Professional Promise Award.
Becker is an active member of the Association of Applied Sport Psychology and the National Association for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity. She has published research in The Sport Psychologist, where she also serves on the editorial board. She is also the co-author of Focused For Fastpitch, a softball-specific mental training book.
On the public speaking circuit, Becker has given numerous lectures and scholarly presentations both locally and nationally on successful coaching methods, sport research and training, and the practice of sport and exercise psychology.