June 18, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford associate head softball coach Trisha Ford has been hired as the next head coach of the Fresno State program, Fresno State Director of Athletics Thomas Boeh announced Monday.
Ford becomes the fourth head coach in the history of the Bulldog program, after serving the last nine years at Stanford, including the previous four seasons associate head coach.
"Obviously we have a lot of mixed emotions, but first and foremost Coach Ford is going to do an outstanding job at Fresno State," said Stanford head coach John Rittman. "Secondly, we are going to miss her tremendously here at Stanford. She has meant a lot to us, to me personally, and to the program and entire department. She is a family member and we wish her nothing but the best at Fresno State."
In her nine years with the Cardinal, Ford helped guide Stanford to a 385-155 (.713) overall record and to the NCAA Tournament each season. Stanford made five Super Regional appearances, ended a season ranked in the top 10 four times and reached the 2004 Women's College World Series during her tenure.
"Trisha's extensive leadership role within one of the nation's most prestigious softball programs has helped her to develop extraordinary technical expertise as well as a keen understanding of the nuances of the game, both on and off the field," Boeh said. "Her deep California roots, Division I head coaching experience and demonstrated commitment to the daily experience and development of student-athletes make her a premier selection to build upon and expand the distinguished tradition of Fresno State softball."
At Stanford, Ford served as the primary pitching coach and worked with the infielders while also being responsible for recruiting, community outreach as well as camps and clinics.
"I'm excited to be joining the Bulldog program and the great tradition that the program has," Ford said. "I would like to build upon the tradition that coach Margie Wright has established and help continue the program's success. I'm looking forward to getting out on the diamond and meeting the team to establish the plan for the upcoming season."
Ford helped Stanford average 43 wins per season and mentored two of the best pitchers in the history of the Cardinal program.
"Trisha has proven to be an outstanding coach for many years at Stanford," said Bob Bowlsby, former Director of Athletics at Stanford and current commissioner of the Big 12 Conference. "She will do a tremendous job leading the Fresno State softball program into the future. She is ready in every aspect to become the next head coach for the Bulldogs."
Most recently she has guided Cardinal pitcher Teagan Gerhart, who over the past three seasons has compiled an 80-32 overall record in the circle. In just three seasons of work under Ford, Gerhart already ranks third in the Stanford record books with 628 career strikeouts, third in career victories and fourth with 23 shutouts.
In 2012, the Cardinal finished 40-19 record and ranked No. 20/21 to end the season. Gerhart ranked ninth nationally with 32 victories.
Before Gerhart took over in the circle in 2010, pitcher Missy Penna enjoyed the most decorated career of any Cardinal pitcher in program history, and it all came under Ford's watch.
Penna was a two-time NFCA All-American (2008 and 2009) and an Academic All-American in 2009. She set new school records in wins (119), strikeouts (1,267), shutouts (50) and innings pitched (1,086.1), while owning a 1.84 career ERA.
In 2004, her first season at Stanford, Ford helped lead the team to a 49-19 record, a regional title and its second appearance in the Women's College World Series. Under Ford's guidance, All-American pitcher Dana Sorensen set new program bests for wins (34) and strikeouts (358), while posting a 1.41 ERA.
Prior to joining Stanford's coaching staff, Ford spent two seasons as the head coach at Saint Mary's College in Moraga, her alma mater. In 2003, Ford's squad finished the season with a 25-27 record and a .481 winning percentage, the best in school history. Prior to being named head coach, Ford served as an assistant at Saint Mary's in 2001.
Arguably the best softball player in Saint Mary's history, Ford, the former Trisha Dean, is the only female student-athlete in school history to have had her number (9) retired.
In the spring of 2007, Ford was among six former athletes and coaches to be inducted into the Saint Mary's College Hall of Fame. Ford graduated from Saint Mary's with a degree in politics in 1999.