Courtesy: UTSA Athletics Communications
SAN ANTONIO — UTSA Athletics Director Lynn Hickey announced Thursday the hiring of Amanda Lehotak as head softball coach. Lehotak officially will begin her tenure on July 1.
“We are thrilled to add someone of Amanda’s caliber to lead our program,” Hickey said. “She has very quickly established herself as one of the outstanding coaches in college softball, as evidenced by her team’s success and the comments we received from coaches all over the country. I was very impressed with Amanda’s plan to manage our softball program, both on and off the field.”
“I’d like to thank Lynn Hickey and the search committee for presenting me with this amazing opportunity,” Lehotak said. “I look forward to bringing back a winning tradition at UTSA and hitting the recruiting trail in Texas. I’m very excited to meet the team, past and present, to find out what Roadrunners softball is all about.
“This is a great opportunity to build a program and I look to be competitive in the Southland Conference this season and move to the top of the Western Athletic Conference in 2013 and beyond.”
Lehotak comes to UTSA after six seasons at Jacksonville University, five of which she served as the head coach.
One of three family members to head a collegiate softball program, Lehotak amassed a school-record 137 wins during her tenure, which was capped by a program-best 44-16 campaign in 2011 that culminated in the Dolphins' first-ever Atlantic Sun Regular Season and Tournament Championships and inaugural NCAA Tournament appearance.
The 2011 squad set four school records — ERA (1.48), shutouts (18), home runs (41) and fielding percentage (.967) — and a program-best four players were named first-team All-Atlantic Sun, including Pitcher of the Year Sarah Sigrest. For her efforts Lehotak took home the league’s Coach of the Year award, another first for the program. In all, she coached 16 all-conference and three NFCA All-Region selections in her five seasons in charge.
Following her success last season, Lehotak was chosen to be a camp clinician at the 2011 Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City. Selected by her peers for the event, she was part of the Powerade NCAA Youth Clinic that connects kids ages 8-16 with the game of softball.
Under Lehotak’s guidance, Jacksonville improved by an average of nearly six wins per season and made the Atlantic Sun Tournament her final three seasons. Prior to her tenure, the Dolphins had just one winning campaign and conference tournament appearance in four years. Her 137 wins more than doubled Jacksonville’s all-time total and Lehotak’s teams earned votes in the Ultimate College Softball Poll the past two seasons along with votes in the final USA Today/NFCA Poll in 2011.
In addition to her teams’ success on the diamond, the Dolphins twice posted team GPAs that ranked among the nation’s best, ranking 11th in 2006 and 12th in '10.
Lehotak spent the 2006 season as an assistant at Jacksonville where she worked primarily with the infielders and outfielders, coordinated team travel, served as a camps and clinics instructor and helped lead fundraising efforts for improvements to the JU Softball Complex.
Prior to her time at Jacksonville, she served as the hitting coach at Missouri Western State, where she helped the Griffons offense lead the Mid-American Intercollegiate Athletics Association and set records in homers in a game (seven) and season (72).
Lehotak’s coaching career began in 2003 as an assistant coach at Daniel J. Gross High School in Bellevue, Neb., before serving as an interim assistant coach at the College of Saint Mary in Omaha, Neb., a year later.
As a player, Lehotak's career began as a two-year starter at Mississippi, where she set a then-single-season school record with 62 hits as a true freshman in 2001 before finishing her career as a two-year starter at Nebraska-Omaha. She was a third-team All-American and first-team all-region selection as a junior and also was a two-time first-team All-North Central Conference honoree during her time with the Mavs.
Lehotak earned a bachelor's degree in family science from Nebraska-Omaha in 2003.