Vicky Rios completed her first season with the Hornets in 2018, helping the program to one of its best seasons since the team joined the Div. I ranks. In fact, after one season as assistant coach, she was elevated to associate head coach in August of 2018.
Rios 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 (1993, 1995, 2008, 2018).
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.
With 18 years of collegiate coaching experience and over 21 years as a professional softball instructor, Rios is heavily involved with coaching the hitters and defense, as well as recruiting and scouting.
Since 2014, Rios has been a private hitting and defense instructor in the Sacramento area, and her students have played or will play in numerous Div. I conferences, including the Pac-12, Mountain West, Big West, West Coast, Conference USA and the SWAC.
Prior to that, she had assistant coaching stops at UC Davis (2011-14), Sacramento City College (2009-11) and Riverside City College (2008-09). Rios also spent five years as the associate head coach at UC Riverside (2003-08), and spent two years as an assistant at Cosumnes River College (2001-03) and San Jose State (1999-01). The Sacramento native began her extensive coaching carer as head coach at Santa Clara from 1997-99. She has been a professional softball instructor/clinician since 1995.
While at UC Davis, Rios coached infield, hitting and slap hitting while also being involved with recruiting, fundraising and team travel. She helped coach the Aggies to a combined 70 wins over her three seasons. She held the same duties during her two years at Sacramento City College, and helped coach the Panthers to a Big 8 Conference championship in 2010 and a second place finish in 2011.
Prior to her tenure at Sac City, Rios was an assistant at Riverside City College during the 2008-09 academic year. In addition to her duties as a physical education professor, she served as the coach for infield and hitting. During the 2009 season, Rios and the Tigers made the first state championship appearance in program history.
She began her collegiate playing career at Sacramento City College, earning team MVP and all-state honors while helping the Panthers capture the Camino Norte Conference title and finish third at the state tournament as a freshman. In 1992, she helped Sac City to conference and state championships, earning all-league and all-state accolades. She also served as team captain and won the team’s Defensive Player of the Year award both seasons.
Rios transferred to Cal State Northridge in 1993, where she was named honorable mention all-WAC and helped the Matadors win the league title and reach the College World Series. As a senior in 1994, she capped her career by leading the Matadors to another WAC championship and a second place finish at the College World Series. Once again, Rios garnered all-WAC honorable mention accolades and received her team’s most inspirational and outstanding defense awards.
Following her collegiate career, Rios was drafted to play in the Women’s Professional Softball League. She also played on a women’s select team that competed against international teams such as China, New Zealand, Taipei and Canada.
Rios earned a master’s degree in coaching and athletic administration from Concordia in 2010, and bachelor’s degree in recreation from Cal State East Bay in 2001.