The 2003 season held many milestones for veteran softball coach Kathy DeYoung, starting with the opening day when she posted her 700th career win at the helm of the Aggie program. She finished April with her 40th win of the season, marking her eighth 40-win season at UC Davis. A few weeks later at the NCAA Division II Softball Championships, UC Davis reached the 50-win plateau for the third time in school history.
It was in that four-day tournament in Salem, Oregon, where DeYoung achieved the pinnacle of coaching success. On May 18, 2003, her Aggie squad beat St. Mary's of Texas in a dramatic eight-inning victory, then rapped 14 hits in a 7-0 victory over Georgia College & State in the title game, capturing the program's first-ever NCAA championship. DeYoung and her assistants were subsequently honored as Coaching Staff of the Year by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.
At all levels, coaching excellence is measured in longevity and productivity. UC Davis head coach Kathy DeYoung qualifies significantly on both accounts. In 25 years as head coach, she has compiled a 751-376-2 record for a .666 winning percentage, earned 13 NCAA postseason berths and captured eight conference titles. Additionally, DeYoung won her third straight California Collegiate Athletic Association Coach of the Year award in 2003.
Before last year, DeYoung's UC Davis teams had reached the NCAA Championships four times (1993, 1996, 1997 and 2000), finishing third each time. The 2003 season also represented the 11th straight appearance in the NCAA West Region tournament.
DeYoung won back-to-back Division II West Region Coach of the Year honors from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association in 1996 and 1997, and was also named the CCAA Coach of the Year in 1999, 2001, and 2002. In 1997, she was honored as Coach of the Year for the NCAC.
One of DeYoung's career highlights has been overseeing the growth of the Aggies' home field, the LaRue Field complex that is one of the nation's top Division II on-campus facilities.
DeYoung graduated summa cum laude from Fresno State in 1975 with a degree in physical education. She did graduate work while serving as assistant coach in softball, basketball and volleyball at St. Cloud State in Minnesota. DeYoung then went to Temple University, where she coached volleyball and badminton and assisted in softball for two seasons.
DeYoung joined the UC Davis staff in 1979 and coached both the volleyball and softball teams over the next 10 years. Five of her volleyball teams won league championships and two reached the national tournament. Since 1989, she has coached softball exclusively and currently conducts a year-round program that monitors the physical conditioning and academic progress of her student-athletes.