Even though the 2013-14 season is Cheryl Mitchell's first at UC Davis, the newest addition to UC Davis softball's staff possesses an extensive coaching background that spans more that two decades. In recent years, Mitchell coached the softball teams as Cal State East Bay, Alameda High School and Solano Community College.
At SCC, Mitchell's instruction helped the Falcons capture their eighth-straight Bay Valley Conference title and receive nationwide academic accolades from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association by possessing one of the top 25 team GPAs in the country. Due to its overwhelming success in the Bay Valley Conference, the team won 21 of 24 games against conference foes, seven players received all-conference recognition, including four players who received first team honors. Due to her expertise in player development, many of her players at SCC continued their athletic and academic pursuits at various four-year colleges, also earning all-conference and All-American honors after leaving Fairfield.
Mitchell began her coaching career in 1992 by offering private instruction to players, teaching fellow colleagues at softball clinics from coast-to-coast and working at Amateur Softball Association (ASA) camps in Oklahoma City. She capped an intense first year as a coach by accepting an opportunity to serve as the head softball coach at Hogan High School in Vallejo, Calif.
That decision reaped immediate rewards when Mitchell was named Vallejo Times Herald Coach of the Year in 1993 and '94. The following year the South Australian Sports Institute invited Mitchell to help recruit and train future Olympic athletes, providing the chance to play and coach internationally before returning to the United States to join Cal State Northridge softball's coaching staff.
In addition to her coaching duties, Mitchell also pursued a graduate degree in Kinesiology, completing all requirements less than two years after arriving to campus. Combined with her love of fitness and exercise, she used her degree to teach physical education for more than 15 years.
A Vacaville High School alum, Mitchell was a decorated player before starting her career as a softball coach. In 1987, as a junior high school player, she was asked to compete on a college all-star team that represented the U.S. at the Friendship Games in Hong Kong. As a varsity player at VHS, she led the Bulldogs to a Sac-Joaquin Section Championship in 1988, a season that ended with Mitchell receiving the Vacaville Reporter's Athlete of the Year award.
Once she graduated Vacaville High School, she competed at the Division I level for Creighton after receiving a full scholarship before capping her college career at nearby Sacramento State. Throughout her undergraduate years, she played for two women's Class A national championship teams, also earning All-American accolades both years.
Mitchell lives in Vacaville where she enjoys spending time with her three children - Cameron, Brook, and Jack - in addition to her duties as an ASA 12U coach for the KG Hitters organization.