How coaching Division I softball became a more realistic dream

How coaching Division I softball became a more realistic dream

An NCAA ruling last summer drastically increased the number of paid Division I softball coaches. OSU hitting coach Vanessa Shippy-Fletcher was a beneficiary.

Sam Hutchens

By Sam Hutchens

| Feb 9, 2024, 9:00am CST

Sam Hutchens

By Sam Hutchens

Feb 9, 2024, 9:00am CST

STILLWATER— Vanessa Shippy has lived through the ups and downs that come with coaching college softball. 

In July, an NCAA ruling that allowed a fourth paid softball coach changed her life, and the lives of many other coaches. In December, she was promoted to hitting coach at Oklahoma State.

She joins the show to share how her coaching dreams became a reality and how to get through the job’s toughest aspects.

Episode highlights:

0:30 Deciding between becoming a surgeon or a coach

1:50 Committing to coach as a volunteer 

4:25 What is work like as a volunteer assistant softball coach?

6:00 Initial reaction to NCAA’s rule allowing another paid coach.

9:05 What was it like coaching against Kenny Gajewski at Syracuse?

16:41 Why the first couple of years of coaching are the hardest.

Producer: Jacquelyn Musgrove

Creative Director: Michael Lane

Social media: Bobby Howard

Director of Content: Mike Sherman 

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Sam Hutchens covers Oklahoma State sport for Sellout Crowd. He interned for The Stillwater News Press in 2021 and The Guthrie News Leader in 2022, where he won a first-place OPA award for in-depth reporting. He has also covered sports in southwest Oklahoma for The Lawton Constitution. He strives to tell you the OSU sports stories that you want to tell your friends about. You can email him at [email protected] and connect on Twitter (X) @Sam_Hutchens_

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