June 17, 2014
DAVIS, Calif. -
Karen Yoder, second in UC Davis softball history with 217 victories, will leave the dugout after 10 years as head coach and will pursue other professional opportunities, it was announced on Tuesday.
Named to the position before the start of the 2005 season, Yoder guided her program through the last three years of the department's transition to NCAA Division I status. It took just three seasons for UC Davis to make a name for itself on the national stage, winning the 2010 Big West Conference championship and earning a berth into the NCAA Regional at Stanford.
"Karen guided the softball program through a challenging time for our athletics program as it finished its transition to Div. I," said Terry Tumey, Director of Athletics. "We thank her for her leadership during that move and the following years, and congratulate her on her successes."
Yoder was named the 2010 Big West Coach of the Year while standout Alex Holmes was named Pitcher of the Year and Elizabeth Santana was selected Freshman Field Player of the Year.
Yoder, who also coached at Cal State Hayward - now called Cal State East Bay - and also UNC-Greensboro, has 338 career victories as a head coach at the NCAA level, and 385 overall after including two seasons at Napa Valley College.
Under Yoder's tutelage, 36 Aggies received all-conference honors, including 16 named to the first team. Altogether, she had two pitchers earn top honors from the Big West. Off the field, numerous Aggies have received ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District and/or Big West All-Academic recognition.
"I have so many wonderful memories over the last 10 years at UC Davis that I see this as a wonderfully filled chapter of my career," said Yoder, who will continue to lecture at UC Davis while pursuing other professional opportunities, including those in athletics administration.
"I would like to express sincere appreciation to everyone that has shared in the hard work, vision, and dedication of moving UC Davis into the Division I era," she added. "We proved in three quick years that UC Davis softball was a force to be reckoned with and captured the 2010 Big West Championship."
Yoder's passion for the game is also evident from her extensive work as a member of numerous committees. The 2012-13 season marked her first as part of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Diversity Committee. This five-member panel focused its efforts on reviewing current standards concerning diversity in the NFCA, the sport, and recommended changes and clarification in NFCA policies and procedures relating to diversity.
Yoder was also among a select group of coaches from across the nation invited to attend Dimension II of the NCAA Women's Coaches Academy in Chicago, Ill. This event took place in 2011, just one year after she was chosen as the NFCA's All-America Committee chairperson, elected to the NFCA Ethics Committee and selected to represent UC Davis' head coaches on its Title IX Athletics Advisory Committee.
In 2008, she was also invited to participate in the NCAA's Women's Coaches Academy. Designed to help increase one's effectiveness as a coach, participants were provided opportunities to strengthen their skill set and learn newly-researched strategies to help their team succeed both on and off the diamond.
In 2010 against their Causeway rivals, Yoder collected win No. 100 at the helm of UC Davis softball. Earlier this season against Robert Morris, she reached the 200-career win milestone.
A national search for a new head coach will begin soon.