Danielle Kaminaka enters her fourth season as an assistant coach at Sacramento State in 2017, and now has nine years of coaching experience.
Kaminaka is the hitting coach for the Hornets while also working with the infielders, overseeing the team’s academics and youth camps, and assisting with recruiting.
During her three years as hitting coach, Sacramento State’s offense has combined to hit .295 with a .373 on-base percentage. In addition, the team has averaged more than four runs per game over that span while combining for 285 extra base hits. In fact, over the last three years, the Hornets have posted top three Div. I era (1990-pres.) single-season marks in on-base percentage (1st, .376 in 2015; 3rd, .369 in 2016), walks (1st, 150), hits (2nd, 436), batting average (2nd, .303 in 2016; T-3rd, .294 in 2015), doubles (T-2nd, 77), runs (3rd, 240) and RBIs (3rd, 218). In addition, the 2016 squad struck out just 122 times all season (once every 11.1 at-bats), easily the best marks in school history.
At least five Hornets have hit better than .300 during each of Kaminaka’s three years as hitting coach, including six players last season. In 2015, Sasha Margulies’ .404 batting average marked just the fourth time a Sacramento State player hit .400 in a season during the Div. I era. In 2014, seven of the Hornets’ nine positional starters hit at least .300.
Academically, 10 Hornets from the 2016 team had grade point averages of at least a 3.0 at the end of the spring semester. In fact, the team currently has an overall grade point average of 3.036.
During Kaminaka’s three-year tenure, the Hornets have combined for an 81-69 overall record and a 42-16 mark in the Big Sky Conference. The team finished second place in the league standings each of those seasons, including a half game back in 2014 and 2016, and two games back of the top spot in 2015. In addition, Sacramento State has eliminated a pair of teams from the Big Sky Tournament each of the last two years, including Southern Utah and Idaho State in 2015, and Southern Utah and Montana in 2016. The 2015 squad qualified for the Big Sky Tournament championship game, but fell to Weber State and narrowly missed out on the league’s automatic berth into the NCAA Regionals.
In addition, the team has racked up 27 all-conference selections during Kaminaka’s tenure, including a program-record 11 receiving some form of all-Big Sky recognition in 2014. Among those players was two-time Big Sky Pitcher of the Year Caitlin Brooks, who also became just the second Hornet pitcher during the program’s Div. I era (1990-pres.) to earn all-region honors on more than one occasion.
Kaminaka, who played four years at Loyola Marymount, also had assistant coaching stops at Colgate (2013) and Loyola Marymount (2009-12). She was an assistant coach with her alma mater in 2011 and 2012, and a graduate assistant in 2009 and 2010.
As an assistant at Loyola Marymount, she helped coach the team to a combined 110 wins over four seasons, including two years with at least 32 victories. The Lions went 45-35 in conference play over that span, including a 16-4 league mark in 2011.
Prior to Loyola Marymount, she coached one season at Southwestern Community College (Chula Vista, Calif.) in 2008 where the team made a 12-game improvement in conference play to 14-2 after the team had gone 2-12 in 2007.
The Vista, Calif., native was a four-year starting third baseman at Loyola Marymount (2002-05) where she broke into the Lions’ record book in a big way. A three-time first team all-Pacific Coast Softball Conference performer during her career, she was the PCSC Player of the Year and a second team NFCA all-Pacific Region selection in 2004 after she set the then-school record with 15 home runs and 49 RBIs.
As a senior in 2005, she won the PCSC Scholar-Athlete of the Year award and was a first team academic all-district selection after leading the squad to a 34-20 overall record, a 16-4 PCSC mark and the school’s first-ever NCAA Regional appearance.
During her four seasons as a player, the Lions combined for a 138-87 overall record and 58-25 conference mark. A career .326 hitter, she ranks among the top eight players in Loyola Marymount history in 11 different categories, including second in career home runs (47), doubles (43), walks (110), slugging percentage (.623) and on-base percentage (.434), as well as third in RBIs (149).
Kaminaka had her number retired (#35) by Loyola Marymount in the fall of 2015.
She received both her master’s degree (2010) and bachelor’s degree (2005) in English Literature at Loyola Marymount.