CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas -– Stephanie Hughes, an eight-year member of the UTSA coaching staff, has been named head coach of the Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi softball team, senior associate athletic director Scott Lazenby announced today. Hughes becomes the fifth head coach in Islanders softball history.

“I would like to thank Tim Fitzpatrick and Scott Lazenby for giving me the opportunity to lead this great program,” Hughes said. “I’m honored and excited to be the next head coach of the 2011 Southland Conference Champions and I look forward to continuing the winning tradition of Islanders softball.”

Hughes, a native of Angleton, Texas, comes to Texas A&M – Corpus Christi after spending the 2011 season as the interim head coach for UTSA. Prior to that, she spent seven seasons as an assistant for the Roadrunners. Hughes succeeds former head coach Jake Schumann, who was recently named head coach at Florida International.

“We are excited to bring in Stephanie Hughes as the leader [of] our softball program,” Lazenby said. “Stephanie’s wealth of experience as a player and coach combined with her strong ties in Texas and in the Southland Conference make her the perfect fit for Texas A&M – Corpus Christi. The Islanders are in great hands with a coach of her caliber taking the helm.”

During Hughes’ time as an assistant with the Roadrunners, she helped UTSA to three Southland Conference regular season championships, including two tournament titles and two NCAA regional appearances. In January 2011, Hughes was named the interim head coach for UTSA and led the team to a 28-27 record, improving the Roadrunners’ win total by five games from the year before.   

Hughes began her coaching career in 2001 at Texas State as an assistant coach after playing four years for the Bobcats. During her one-year tenure, she helped the 2002 squad to a 37-22 record, including a 23-4 finish in the Southland to seal the team’s second straight regular season conference title.

Prior to joining the Roadrunners’ staff, Hughes served as an assistant for Navarro College and guided the team to two conference titles. As an assistant she helped with all aspects of day-to-day operations, including teaching academic classes, recruiting, coordinating travel plans and overseeing the student-athletes’ academic progress.

As a four-year letterwinner on the Bobcat squad, Hughes was a two-time Southland Tournament Champion, in 1998 and 2001, also garnering a regular season Southland Conference title as a senior. She earned a first team All-Southland Conference nod in 2001, leading her team to the NCAA Regional Finals that year. Hughes received her bachelor’s degree in kinesiology in December 2001 from Texas State.

Hughes will take over a squad that returns 11 players after going 41-19 last season and clinching the first Southland Conference regular-season title in program history.