Danielle Kaminaka completed her sixth season as an assistant coach at Sacramento State in 2019, and now has 12 years of collegiate coaching experience.
Kaminaka was part of a coaching staff that guided the Hornets to the 2018 Big Sky Conference regular season and tournament championships while qualifying for the NCAA Tournament. Sacramento State, which finished the season 31-20 overall and 14-7 in league, won its first Big Sky title since the league began sponsoring softball in 2013. In addition, the NCAA Tournament appearance was the program’s first since 2008, and the fourth since Sacramento State became a Div. I member in 1990.
The 2018 season also marked the Hornets’ first league title since the program won the Pacific Coast Softball Conference in 2008. Sacramento State had three winning streaks of at least five games long, and went undefeated in the conference tournament to claim the Big Sky’s automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
A total of seven Hornets were named all-conference in 2018, including Suzy Brookshire being named the Big Sky MVP and right-hander Celina Matthias named the Big Sky Pitcher of the Year. Sacramento State’s year came to an end in the NCAA Tournament with a 3-0 loss at second-ranked UCLA, and 8-4 loss against 22nd-ranked Texas State.
The team has posted back-to-back 30-win seasons (31 in both 2018 and 2019) for the first time since 2006. Kaminaka is heavily involved with coaching the hitters while also working with the infielders, overseeing the team’s academics and youth camps, and assisting with recruiting.
During her six years with the hitters, Sacramento State’s offense has combined to hit .286. In addition, the team has averaged 4.4 runs per game over that span while combining for 613 extra base hits. Over the last six years, the Hornets have posted top three Div. I era single-season marks in virtually every offensive category, including a program-record 45 home runs in 2017, and 43 homers in 2019.
At least four Hornets have hit at least .299 during each of Kaminaka’s six years with the hitters, including six players in 2016. In both 2018 and 2019, three Hornets hit better than .340. 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.
Academically, 11 Hornets from the 2019 team have grade point averages above a 3.0. In fact, the team currently has an overall grade point average of 3.126.
Also during Kaminaka’s tenure, the Hornets have combined for an 164-142-1 overall record and a 75-41 mark in the Big Sky Conference. The Hornets finished third place or better in the league standings in five of her six seasons, including a half game back in 2014 and 2016, and two games back of the top spot in 2015. The team has racked up 47 all-conference selections, including a program-record 11 receiving some form of all-Big Sky recognition in 2014.
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 2015.
She received both her master’s degree (2010) and bachelor’s degree (2005) in English Literature at Loyola Marymount.