Metro St.

DENVER -- Metro State director of athletics Joan McDermott announced Kristi Lansford as the school’s new softball coach. Lansford joins the Metro State Roadrunners after spending the past four seasons as the first full-time assistant coach for the NCAA Division I Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners. She also spent seven years as the head coach at San Francisco State University and becomes Metro State’s ninth softball coach in school history, including the third since the program was reinstated in 2008. Lansford replaces interim head coach Vanessa Becerra.

“We are thrilled to be able to hire someone of Kristi’s caliber,” McDermott said. “She has a great personality and will be a great fit in our department. She brings multiple years of experience as a head coach, including taking a Division II team to the World Series. She also has great experience at the Division II level as a student-athlete, assistant coach and head coach. Her game expertise is something we really targeted in the hiring process.”

“I’m really excited to be back [in Colorado],” Lansford said. “I think that Metro State softball has a winning tradition and they started that early, and I just want to build on that and take what they’ve already started and run with it. There were two things [that drew me to the job]. The first is the winning tradition. They’ve had that. The second is my entire family lives in Colorado.

“I know it’s difficult to go to the national championship every year, but I want us to be the team that’s in the regional tournament every year and has the ability to play for a national championship. I’ve been at both the Division I and Division II levels. I like that you always have a chance to play for a national championship [at the Division II level].”

Prior to joining CSUB as an assistant in 2008, Lansford was the head coach at Division II San Francisco State for seven seasons, taking a perennial losing program to the Division II World Series. In 2001 she took over a program that had nine consecutive losing seasons. In 2003, the Gators topped the 20-win mark for the first time since 1991, going 25-31. Lansford’s squad went 41-25 the following season, earning her California Collegiate Athletic Association Coach of the Year honors. Her 2005 team won the West Region championship, advancing to the Division II championship in the school’s first postseason appearance. SFSU won 41 games again in 2006 and 31 in 2007 before she moved on to CSUB.Lansford’s teams and student-athletes at SFSU currently hold nearly every single season and career record at the school, highlighted by Sonja Garnett, who pitched from 2003-06 and was named All-America each of her final three seasons. Lansford also coached three Academic All-Americans.

Before her time at San Francisco State, she was the head coach at Northwood University in Texas, helping the Knights to the NAIA regional tournament. She was also an assistant at Cal State Bakersfield when the Roadrunners were a member of NCAA Division II for three seasons after playing for two seasons at CSUB. As a student-athlete, Lansford was CSUB’s first walk-on and earned a scholarship after her first season as she went on to be a two-time all-conference outfielder.

Metro State won its third consecutive Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference regular season championship in 2011 and advanced to its third consecutive NCAA tournament. The Roadrunners reached the Division II championship semifinals in 2010 in just the third year of the program.