Texas Tech hires former All-Big 12 Aggie Adrian Gregory as head coach
LUBBOCK, Texas -- Adrian Gregory, a Texas native with Lubbock roots, has been named the seventh head softball coach at Texas Tech, athletics director Kirby Hocutt announced Friday.
Born in nearby Post, Texas, Gregory is familiar with the Texas Tech softball program she will now lead. Several of her family and friends are West Texas natives.
"I am excited to welcome Adrian Gregory to the Texas Tech family to lead our softball program," Hocutt said. "Her energy, passion and familiarity with the state of Texas will provide the leadership to take our program forward. Adrian is a rising star and has been successful in every aspect of her softball career."
"Kirby Hocutt continues to put his stamp on the athletics program with his leadership and direction," Tech president M. Duane Nellis, Ph.D., said. "Adrian Gregory received high praise from her colleagues around the country during the search and I am excited for the future of the softball program. Kirby has put together a highly talented assembly of coaches, who continue to represent the university positively across the country. The future of Texas Tech Athletics is exciting."
Gregory arrives at Texas Tech after spending the past four seasons as an assistant coach at Sam Houston State where she helped develop the Bearkats into one of the top offensive teams in the country.
"It's an honor to lead the softball program at Texas Tech," Gregory said. "This means everything to me. I grew up in the Red Raider family with most of my family being proud Texas Tech supporters. This is a great university that plays in one of the top softball conferences in the country in the Big 12. I'm thrilled to be a Red Raider now and I'm ready to meet our team and hit the ground running."
Since her hire in August 2010, Gregory oversaw Sam Houston's recruiting efforts where she developed solid contacts with several of the top travel ball teams in the state. She was also instrumental in Sam Houston's presence at the plate, turning the Bearkats into a dangerous lineup that regularly hit better than .300 as a team.
In only her third season at Sam Houston in 2013, Gregory helped produce one of the more lethal lineups in the country as the Bearkats ranked 16th nationally in batting average and among the top 45 teams for home runs per game and slugging percentage.
The Bearkats hit .321 as a team that year, one of four single-season school records set as Sam Houston also snapped the previous marks for total hits (559), home runs (59) and RBI (290).
Sam Houston developed into one of the top mid-major programs nationally during Gregory's tenure as she helped lead the Bearkats to 115 victories in her four seasons. Sam Houston finished with just 21 wins in the season prior to her arrival.
The Bearkats picked up 37 victories during the 2013 season alone, marking the program's most since 2007 as Sam Houston advanced to the Southland Conference finals for the second consecutive season.
Sam Houston recorded at least one win against a Big 12 or Southeastern Conference opponent in three of her four seasons, including an upset against a Baylor team earlier this year that eventually went on to finish in the semifinals of the Women's College World Series. Her offense pushed across two runs in extra innings to secure the victory against Baylor ace Whitney Canion, the eventual Big 12 pitcher of the year.
Gregory, a four-year starter and two-time captain at Texas A&M with extensive ties throughout the state of Texas, was hired at Sam Houston State following three seasons at Utah. While with the Utes, she served as Utah's infield and outfield instructor while also overseeing hitting and recruiting, as well.
Gregory entered the coaching field after a highly successful playing career at Texas A&M. As a team captain her junior and seniors seasons, Gregory help lead the Aggies to the 2005 Big 12 championship and an appearance in the NCAA College Station Super Regional.
A natural middle infielder for the Aggies, Gregory earned All-Big 12 first-team honors in 2004 en route to leading Texas A&M to its third of four NCAA regional appearances during her playing career. Texas A&M recorded a pair of 40-win seasons (2002, '05) during her career, including a 47-win campaign in 2005 that marked the program's most wins in more than a decade.
Gregory wrapped her career hitting .284 overall with 197 hits, 29 home runs and 33 stolen bases. She remains among the all-time Aggie leaders in several offensive categories, ranking seventh for runs scored, ninth for triples and 10th for home runs.
Her successful collegiate career led to a stint in the National Pro Fastpitch League where she played shortstop for the Texas Thunder organization that was based in Stafford. Gregory received her first full-time coaching opportunity soon after as an assistant coach with the New England Riptide. She also spent a season as Texas A&M student-assistant coach under longtime Aggie head coach Jo Evans.
Gregory was successful in the classroom, as well, earning Academic All-Big 12 honors along with ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-Region accolades. She received her degree from Texas A&M in recreation, park and tourism sciences with a minor in business administration in 2006.