SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- After 21 years as the Sacramento State head softball coach, Kathy Strahan has announced her retirement effective Aug. 6, 2013.
"We very much appreciate Kathy's 21 years of service to Sacramento State. She has been phenomenal to work with, and I'm excited for her as she enters a new phase in her life," Sacramento State Director of Athletics Dr. Terry Wanless said. "She has left the softball program in great shape, and we will look to continue to build on the foundation she has laid. One of the things I'm most proud of is that her teams always represented the University well both competitively and in the classroom."
Strahan, who began her coaching tenure with the Hornets in 1993, concludes a 30-year collegiate head coaching career which saw her oversee programs at Sacramento State (1993-2013), San Jose State (1986-92) and Cal State Dominguez Hills (1984-85). She surpassed the 800-win milestone during the 2012 season and finishes her career with an overall record of 823-780-3, and a Sacramento State record of 576-535-2. That Hornet record includes a conference mark of 247-221-1.
"I want to thank Dr. Wanless, the athletics department staff, my fellow coaches and University officials for all of their support throughout my tenure at Sacramento State," Strahan said. "This is a very special place, something I felt the moment I set foot on campus 21 years ago. I am grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of the Hornet family and intend to stay involved in whatever capacity I might be helpful, but certainly as a Sacramento State sports fan."
The longest tenured softball coach in school history, Strahan's career with the Hornets spanned four conferences as she guided the team from the Western Athletic Conference (1993-96) to the Big West Conference (1997-02), the Pacific Coast Softball Conference (2003-12) and currently the Big Sky Conference (2013-pres.).
Under Strahan's watch, Sacramento State made three NCAA Regional appearances (1993, 1995, 2008) and the team finished below the .500 mark in conference play just once in the last 11 years. Her Hornet squads posted at least 25 wins on 15 occasions, including nine 30-win seasons and one 40-win squad. A total of seven Sacramento State players have played in the professional ranks during Strahan's tenure, including five in the last 10 years.
The Lansing, Mich., native was named Coach of the Year in three different conferences (Big West, WAC, PCSC), has been inducted into three different Hall of Fames in her home state of Michigan, led a Hornet softball program that traditionally posted some of the highest grade point averages at Sacramento State, and served on numerous NCAA softball committees during her career. In fact, the softball program's graduation success rate is currently at 93 percent.
Prior to her coaching career, Strahan was a shortstop for the Raybestos Brakettes of Stratford, Conn., the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) national champions in 1977, 1978 and 1980. She was also a member of the United States gold-medal winning team at the 1979 Pan American games, while also playing with the 1978 U.S. World Championships team. A standout softball and basketball player at Michigan State, she was a member of the 1976 Michigan State AIAW national championship team.