SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Sacramento State Director of Athletics Terry Wanless announced today that Lori Perez has been named the interim head softball coach for the 2013-14 season.
Perez, who is no stranger to Sacramento State softball, will take over for Kathy Strahan who recently announced her retirement after 21 years as the Hornets' head coach.
Perez has 13 years of experience at Sacramento State, including four seasons as a player when her last name was Meixner (1999-02), and the last nine years as an assistant coach (2005-13).
"We are very pleased that Lori has accepted our offer to become the interim head coach," Wanless said. "She has plenty of experience as a Hornet, not only as a player, but also an assistant coach. We believe she will do a great job in leading our program for the upcoming year and into the future."
Perez has been influential in numerous areas of the program, including recruiting, serving as the team's pitching coach and first-base coach, working with the catchers and infielders, as well as many other duties during her tenure as a Hornet assistant.
"I'm excited to take over a program that has been a big part of my life for 13 years," Perez said. "I'm looking forward to putting my thumb print on the team, and building upon the foundation that was laid by Coach Strahan. I feel very blessed and honored to have the opportunity to continue to do what I love for a program and department I love."
Since Perez became the team's pitching coach in 2005, Hornet pitchers have accounted for 13 all-conference selections. That includes at least one Sacramento State pitcher earning all-league honors in eight of those nine years.
Last season, three pitchers on the staff finished with sub-3.00 ERA's, and the team ERA of 2.33 was the top mark in the Big Sky Conference and the 40th best in the nation among the 291 Div. I softball institutions. That includes sophomore right-hander Caitlin Brooks being named first team all-Big Sky after going 14-7 with a 1.81 ERA. In addition, the 2012 squad, spearheaded by its strong infield play, posted a program-record .979 fielding percentage, the second best mark in the nation.
During Perez's tenure as an assistant coach, Sacramento State combined for a 237-216 overall record, and a 107-65 conference mark. The team finished with at least 20 wins all nine of those seasons, including three years with at least 30 victories, as well as a 2008 conference title and NCAA Regional appearance.
During her playing days, she was a four-year starter for the Hornets and remains the program leader in career fielding assists (495). The Petaluma, Calif., native appeared in 196 games (including 190 starts) at second base, shortstop and third base during her four-year tenure as a student-athlete at Sacramento State.
In the Hornet career Div. I record book, Perez not only ranks first in assists, but also eighth in walks. A team captain during both her junior and senior seasons, she earned all-Big West Conference honors in 2001 and started all but one game during her final two years with the program.
Prior to her coaching stint at Sacramento State, Perez was the lead instructor at Kelly Jackson's All-American Softball School in West Sacramento, Calif., from 2003-04. She also spent time as the head varsity coach at Center High School (Antelope, Calif.) for two years (2003-04).