Danielle Kaminaka completed her fifth season as an assistant coach at Sacramento State in 2018, and now has 11 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 sophomore Suzy Brookshire being named the Big Sky MVP and right-hander Celina Matthias named the Big Sky Pitcher of the Year. Both Brookshire and Matthias were later named all-region, marking the first time since 2009 two Hornets were named to the all-region team during the same season. 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.
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 five years with the hitters, Sacramento State’s offense has combined to hit .284. In addition, the team has averaged more than four runs per game over that span while combining for 478 extra base hits. Over the last five years, the Hornets have posted top three Div. I era single-season marks in home runs (1st, 45 in 2017), 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 fact, the team’s 45 homers in 2017 were 11 more than any other season in program history.
At least four Hornets have hit at least .299 during each of Kaminaka’s five years with the hitters, including six players in 2016. In 2018, three players hit better than .340, including Zamari Hinton (.394), Brookshire (.371) and Nene Alas (.343). 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, seven Hornets from the 2018 team have grade point averages of at least a 3.1. In fact, the team currently has an overall grade point average of 3.058.
During Kaminaka’s five-year tenure, the Hornets have combined for an 133-117-1 overall record and a 66-33 mark in the Big Sky Conference. The Hornets finished third place or better in the league standings each of her five seasons, including a half game back in 2014 and 2016, and two games back of the top spot in 2015.
Also during Kaminaka’s five seasons, the team has racked up 39 all-conference selections, including a program-record 11 receiving some form of all-Big Sky recognition in 2014. Sacramento State improved as the season progressed all five years of her tenure, including the 2018 season. The Hornets won their final two games of the regular season to clinch the Big Sky’s regular season title, and followed that by going 2-0 at the postseason tournament to hoist the league’s championship trophy.
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.