March 7, 2013
STANFORD, Calif. - A familiar face will be out at Boyd and Jill Smith Family Stadium this weekend in former Cardinal All-American and assistant coach Jessica Allister, now the head coach at Minnesota. The Golden Gophers will be participating in the Stanford Louisville Slugger Classic, March 8-10, and facing her former team on Friday (12:15 p.m.) and Saturday (2:30 p.m.).
"I am extremely excited to come back to Stanford," said Allister, who was a catcher for Stanford from 2001-04. "It was home to me for many years. I had a wonderful experience as a player and a coach."
Now in her third year at Minnesota , Allister has posted back-to-back 31-win seasons and has a program on the rise. She racked up 62 victories over her first two seasons, marking the most over a two-year span at Minnesota since 2003-04. Entering this weekend she holds a 72-53 (.576) career record.
Allister graduated from Stanford in 2004 with a degree in economics. A four-year starting catcher for the Cardinal, she has played more games in a Stanford uniform than any player in program history (266).
She ws a three-time All-Pac-10 selection, led the team to four NCAA Regional appearances and was the starter behind the plate in both of the program's trips to the Women's College World Series (2001 & 2004).
As a freshman in 2001, she earned her first all-region honor and helped the Cardinal to a program-record 54 wins and its first WCWS appearance. As a senior in 2004, Allister became Stanford's ninth All-American, leading the team to its second appearance in the WCWS and finishing the season with a team-leading 12 home runs, 55 RBI, .631 slugging percentage and .404 on-base percentage.
Allister also spent three seasons as a Cardinal assistant from 2007-09. She was a member of the staff that earned the 2009 NFCA West Regional Coaching Staff of the Year. She worked with Stanford's catchers and coached Rosey Neill to the 2008 and 2009 Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year honors. During her time as an assistant, Stanford earned three-straight NCAA tournament bids and made a pair of Super Regional appearances in 2008 and 2009.
"Playing for and learing from Coach Rittman and his staff at Stanford has really shaped who I am today as a coach," said Allister. "I am looking forward to seeing many friendly faces this weekend."