Jim Wetzel completed his fifth year with the Hornet softball program in 2019. He has served in both the volunteer assistant and assistant coach capacities during his tenure, and works with the team’s hitters, catchers and outfielders.
Wetzel 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.
During his five years with the program, Sacramento State has combined for a 139-121-1 overall record and a 63-37 mark in the Big Sky Conference. The Hornets finished third place or better in all but one of those seasons, including a half game back of the top spot in 2016.
Prior to Sacramento State, Wetzel spent four seasons at William Jessup (2011-14), including his final three as the co-head coach. Prior to his stint with the Warriors, he spent seven years with Sierra College as their middle infield, catching and hitting instructor.
Wetzel, who played 30 years of fast pitch softball, also coached at the high school level for 15 years. During that time, he worked with the California Breeze, Hot Styx, Cal Lite, Casa Roble High School and San Juan High School.
Wetzel has four daughters, Casey, Jennifer, Kati and Shelli.