SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Already a member of three different Hall of Fames, former longtime Sacramento State softball head coach Kathy Strahan will add a fourth prize to the mantel when she is inducted into the Michigan State Hall of Fame on Sept. 18.
Strahan is part of a six-member Hall of Fame class with the induction ceremony taking place in East Lansing on Thursday, Sept. 18, and culminating on Saturday, Sept. 20 with special recognition during the Michigan State-Eastern Michigan football game.
Strahan, who was the head coach of Hornet softball for 21 years prior to announcing her retirement in June of 2013, was inducted into the Michigan Amateur Softball Association's Hall of Fame in 1995. Six years later, in 2001, Strahan was inducted into the Greater Lansing Area Sports Hall of Fame, and then was inducted again in 2013 as a member of the 1974-75 Lansing Laurels Fastpitch softball squad.
A Lansing native, Strahan had a standout career at Michigan State (1974-78), lettering in both basketball (1975-76 season) and softball (1975-78). She helped lead the Spartan softball team to the AIAW National Championship in 1976 and a third-place finish in 1977.
As the leadoff hitter in 1976, Strahan paced the team in runs scored (25) and triples (7) while striking out just once in 93 at-bats. Overall, the softball team went a combined 90-37-1 during her four seasons, and she also helped the basketball team to a 42-27 record from 1974-77. Strahan was MSU's Outstanding Softball Athlete in 1978.
"When (Michigan State Athletics Director) Mark Hollis told me, I had goose bumps up and down my arm and I teared up," Strahan said. "It was emotional for me. Michigan State was my beginning. I grew up in Lansing. I have been a Spartan ever since I was old enough to be conscious of it. It really is the cherry on top of my career. To be honored by my alma mater is the best there is."
Strahan also enjoyed success on the professional level as she was the 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.
Strahan, who began her coaching tenure with the Hornets in 1993, put together 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 finished 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.
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 finally the Big Sky Conference (2013).
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 her final 11 years at the helm. 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 went on to play professionally during Strahan's tenure, including five during her final 10 years.
Strahan currently lives in Folsom, Calif., and is a regular at Hornet home softball games.