May 23, 2007
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Kristy Schroeder, UC Santa Barbara's head softball coach for the past six seasons, will step down Athletics Director Gary Cunningham officially announced Wednesday. Schroeder has decided to take a break from coaching as her family relocates to Stockton, Calif. where her husband, Peter Schroeder, a lecturer with the Department of Exercise and Sports Studies at UCSB, has taken a job at the University of Pacific.
"The decision was made out of my desire to spend more time with my kids. Pete has a great opportunity at Pacific, he has supported me for the past six years and I want to support him in furthering his career," said Schroeder.
"We have been happy here, but this provides a good opportunity to slow down a bit and focus on my family," she said. "The decision to leave was a real difficult one and I am saddened to leave my team especially since the program is in such a good place right now. I will miss the daily interaction with the players and the coaching staff in the department. Everyone in Santa Barbara has been so nice and we have met really good people here."
In her tenure at UCSB, Schroeder took a mediocre softball program and turned it into an annual contender for postseason play. In 2003, her second year with the Gauchos, she led UCSB to a 34-22 mark, the best overall record in school history. The following season Schroeder led the Gauchos to their second consecutive 30-win season, a tie for second place in the Big West Conference and their first-ever bid into the NCAA Tournament.
This spring, the former UCLA shortstop and two-time national champion with the Bruins, led UCSB to its third 30-win season after posting a 30-23 record and also coached the Gauchos to their third NCAA Tournament appearance in four years. Somewhat appropriately, Schroeder coached her last game with UCSB at her alma mater UCLA last weekend during the Los Angeles Regional of the NCAA Division I Softball Championships. She collected 173 wins in her six years with the Gauchos.
"I hope the program continues in a upward fashion and I want to make sure that the players continue to have a positive experience at UCSB," Schroeder stated. "I feel that players now come to UCSB for good softball in addition to good academics. I think I am leaving the team in a good place, the program is respectable and I hope that it continues to grow in that direction. Hopefully this won't be the end of my coaching career."
"Kristy will be deeply missed by our department. What she has done with our softball program has been tremendous," began Cunningham. "It took a very special person and coach to take the program from where it was when she arrived to where it is now. I appreciate everything Kristy has done for our department and wish her and her family the best of luck as they pursue new opportunities."