EUGENE - The University of Oregon softball team was pleased to announce the addition of Chelsea Spencer as an assistant coach to round out one of the nation’s top coaching staffs.A former professional player and shortstop for California’s NCAA champion team, she has most recently served as an assistant coach at Michigan State the past two seasons.
"We are excited to welcome Chelsea to our program," Oregon head coach Mike White said. "She continues the tradition of Oregon Softball hiring outstanding young coaches who have made their own impact on the collegiate game through playing and coaching at the highest levels."
Serving as the Spartans’ hitting instructor, infield coach and recruiting coordinator, she helped MSU to a 27-27 record in 2011 - her first year in East Lansing, and a notable improvement from a 21-31 mark the season before. In 2011, she also helped shortstop Lindsey Hansen claim her first NFCA All-America honor, while center fielder Kylene Hopkins earned All-Big Ten laurels in ’12.
The previous four seasons from 2006-10, she served as the head coach at Chabot Community College in Hayward, Calif. In her final season, she was tabbed the Coast Conference North Division Coach of the Year after she guided the team to a 24-21 record.
Her impact on the program also included helping plan a new stadium, eight players matriculating to upper division programs, and a conference player of the year honor in 2009. Her commitment to player development also saw her serve as a strength and conditioning coach and academic advisor.
In that same stretch, she worked one season as a graduate assistant softball coach at Holy Names in 2008, and helped the team to a top-20 ranking. She also guided the Alameda High School team as J.V. head coach to an undefeated mark in 2006 - her lone season at the helm.
On the field, Spencer starred for six seasons in the National Professional Fastpitch league for the New York Juggernauts (2005), Philadelphia Force (2006-08), Rockford Thunder (2009) and Tennessee Diamonds (2010). The shortstop and utility player was a four-time All-NPF pick (2007, ’08, ’09 and ’10), played for the league champions in 2009, and was a team captain in ’07.
As a collegian, Pac-12 fans will remember her as key part of California’s greatest run in school history that included a Pac-12 title (2005) and four straight Women’s College World Series trips (2002-05).
She started 277 consecutive games at shortstop and helped the Bears to the national title in ’02, and runner-up finishes in ’03 and ’04. Among her individual accolades, she was an NFCA Third-Team All-American, All-Pac-12 and All-Region pick as a junior in '04, and an All-WCWS Tournament Team pick as a freshman in ’02.
"Chelsea is a hard worker with a vibrant personality," White added, "both of which are assets to the program as a recruiter of top talent for the program. She has head coaching experience and the ability to teach several different positional specialties so she brings a broad array of experience to our team."
Spencer replaces Lisa Dodd, a three-year Duck assistant coach who was named the UNLV head coach earlier this summer. During her tenure, she helped Oregon make its second-ever World Series trip in 2012, post two straight third-place finishes in the nation’s top softball league, and advance to three straight Super Regionals (and the first three in school history).
Spencer joins the Ducks’ esteemed coaching staff that includes head coach Mike White and assistant coach Blake Miller who enter their fourth and third years with the program, respectively.
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