SAN FRANCISCO -— Former Sacramento State softball player Alyssa Nakken (pronounced nack-in) will join the San Francisco Giants as an assistant coach for the upcoming season, it was announced today by first-year manager Gabe Kapler.
Nakken, who starred for the Hornets from 2009-12, will become the first full-time female coach in Major League Baseball history, and the first female coach in Giants history.
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Prior to accepting the position on Kapler's staff, Nakken's roles with the Giants included developing, producing and directing a number of the organization's health and wellness initiatives and events, including coordinating the Giant Race series.
Nakken was a four-time all-Pacific Coast Softball Conference (PCSC) selection during her four-year career at Sacramento State, including a first-team all-league choice in 2012, second team in 2011 and 2010, and honorable mention in 2009.
Giants manager Gabe Kapler says in a text message new assistant coach Alyssa Nakken (nack-in), who MLB confirms becomes first female in major league history on a big league coaching staff, will be in uniform. Ex-@SacStSoftball 1B to focus on high performance & clubhouse culture.— Janie McCauley (@JanieMcCAP) January 17, 2020
According to Kapler, via nbcsports.com, "In every organization, environment affects performance, and baseball clubhouses are no different. That's why in addition to assisting the rest of the coaching staff on the field, Mark (Hallberg) and Alyssa will focus on fostering a clubhouse culture that promotes high performance through, among other attributes, a deep sense of collaboration and team."
A career .304 hitter, Nakken started all 184 games in which she appeared with the Hornets, primarily at first base. That included a run of 164 consecutive starts from the midway point of her freshman season to the final game of her career as a senior. In 562 career at-bats, the Woodland, Calif., native scored 115 runs and had 171 hits, 34 doubles, 18 stolen bases, 19 home runs, 83 RBIs, a .379 on-base percentage and a .992 fielding percentage.
In Sacramento State's Div. I era (1990-pres.), Nakken ranks among the program's top 10 in numerous career categories. That includes first in putouts (1,265), tied for third in home runs, fourth in fielding percentage, sixth in runs scored and total bases (264), and ninth in slugging percentage (.470), RBIs and doubles.
A four-time National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Scholar-Athlete award winner and a four-time PCSC Commissioner's Honor Roll recipient, she was named the conference's Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2012 for her academic and athletic accomplishments as well as community service involvement. She also served as team captain during both her junior and senior seasons.
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"This is a historic moment for the San Francisco Giants baseball organization, women in sports, and the Sacramento State softball program," said former Sacramento State head coach Kathy Strahan who coached Nakken all four years. "I am very proud of Alyssa. As her coach, I knew early that she would blaze new trails and do something groundbreaking. Her positive energy, intellect and tremendous drive to succeed will be an invaluable asset to the Giants players and organization. I believe this incredible journey is just the beginning and I know that she will enjoy the ride."
A psychology major, Nakken graduated from Sacramento State in the spring of 2012 with a 3.76 grade point average. She later added a master's degree in sports management from the University of San Francisco in 2015.