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Courtesy: Jeff Huehn/UTSA Athletics

Cheatham announces addition of Hill, Rogers to coaching staff

Courtesy: UTSA Athletics
Release: 10/02/2013
Courtesy UTSA Athletics
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SAN ANTONIO — Head softball coach Michelle Cheatham announced on Wednesday that Christie Hill and former UTSA standout Jessica Rogers will join the program as assistant coaches effective immediately. Hill will mentor the Roadrunners’ pitching staff, while Rogers will guide the team's hitters and infielders.

"I am very excited to have both of these highly-qualified individuals working with me," said Cheatham, who is in her first season as head coach after serving the previous eight campaigns as an assistant. "Their knowledge and mental toughness will push not only our team, but myself as well, to be great in all aspects of the game"

"It takes a tremendous amount of motivation to not only become an All-American, but to be able to achieve that status in multiple years. Christie's experiences, both here and abroad, as well as an enthusiasm for the game will be very beneficial to our student-athletes and our pitching staff.

"Jessica brings a vast amount of softball knowledge as well as an innate capability to teach the game to our student-athletes. She is one of the best hitters to come through this program and her accolades speak for themselves. Her experiences both as a player and a coach will be very beneficial in bringing the championship mentality needed in this program to compete at a very high level in Conference USA."

"First, I want to thank Michelle Cheatham and the administration at UTSA for giving me the opportunity to join the Roadrunners staff," Hill said. "I am extremely excited and blessed to be able to work with a great coaching staff along with our fantastic group of student-athletes."

"I would like to thank Athletic Director Lynn Hickey and Michelle Cheatham for giving me the opportunity to come back and coach at my alma mater," Rogers said. "I am extremely honored and excited to be back in San Antoio at the university that had a great influence on my life. As we move into Conference USA, I look forward to working with our student-athletes and helping them become successful both on and off the field."

Hill comes to UTSA after coaching stints at North Medford (Ore.) High School, Southern Oregon and her alma mater, CSU Bakersfield.

At Southern Oregon, Hill tutored the team’s pitchers and helped the Raiders to 56 wins in three seasons. Under her tutelage, Jordyn Kurtz earned first-team All-Cascade Conference honors in 2012 after going 10-9 with a 2.91 ERA in the circle.

Prior to her time with the Raiders she spent four seasons as an assistant coach at CSU Bakersfield following a stellar playing career.

As a coach, Hill helped lead the Roadrunners to 103 wins in four seasons as the school transitioned to NCAA Division I competition. The program’s top assistant, she aided the pitching staff as well as assisting with recruiting and fundraising.

The Delano, Calif., native made her mark on the program as a player as well. A three-time National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-American (2004-06), Hill owns school-records for career batting average (.372), hits (323), RBIs (149), runs (181) and doubles (65). She also holds single-season marks for hits (90), doubles (20) and home runs (12).

Hill earned first-team NFCA All-Region and All-California Collegiate Athletic Association honors all four seasons (2003-06) and helped lead the Roadrunners to league titles in 2004 and 2006. The 2006 squad registered 52 wins, claimed the Division II West Regional Championship and finished fourth at the Division II Women’s College World Series.

In addition to her offensive numbers, Hill was one of the best pitchers in program history and ranks in the school’s career top 10 in wins (78), strikeouts (342) and ERA (1.71).

Following her time with the Roadrunners, Hill played professionally in the Netherlands with Olympia Haarlem, where she pitched and played middle-infield. She led the team in batting and wins twice (2007/2009) and went 15-7 with a .469 batting average, seven doubles, nine triples and a homer in her final campaign.

Hill graduated with a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from CSU Bakersfield in 2006 before earning a master’s degree in education from Southern Oregon in 2011.

Meanwhile, Rogers comes to UTSA after serving the last three years as an assistant at Idaho State.

While with the Bengals, Rogers coached 17 All-Big Sky performers, including two Big Sky Player of the Year honorees and a Freshman of the Year winner. After being picked to finish last in the league last season, Idaho State finished with its first winning mark since the program resumed in 2007 and claimed the inaugural Big Sky regular-season title.

With Rogers in charge of the position players and hitters, the Bengals finished among the nation’s best in slugging percentage (5th/.552), home runs per game (7th/1.50) and batting average (8th/.329). Vicky Galasso earned Big Sky Player of the Year honors and finished sixth in slugging percentage (.876), seventh in batting average (.461) and 10th in RBIs per game (0.35).

Prior to her time in Pocatello, Idaho, Rogers was an assistant coach at St. Edward’s (2008-09) and was a volunteer assistant for the Roadrunners (2007-08).

As a player, Rogers rewrote the UTSA and Southland Conference record books.

One of just two players in program history to have their jersey retired, she was a three-time NFCA All-Region honoree (2004-05, ’07) and four-time first-team All-Southland pick along with Southland Player of the Year and Hitter of the Year laurels in 2005. She still owns school records for career runs (169), hits (281), home runs (69) and RBIs (192) and single-season marks for homers (23/2005) and RBIs (64/2005). Her career marks for round-trippers and RBIs also are Southland records, while her career .384 batting average ranks second in school history.

In addition to her work on the field, Rogers was recognized multiple times for her achievements in the classroom. The Grand Prairie native was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American First Team in 2005 and Third Team in 2007, as well as being a three-time first-team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VI selection (2005-07). She was named Southland Softball Student-Athlete of the Year three times (2005-07) and was one of 20 national finalists for the 2007 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. Rogers was an eight-time UTSA Dean’s List honoree.

Rogers earned her bachelor’s degree in kinesiology in December 2006 and her master’s degree in August 2008, both at UTSA.

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