In 2016, Chelsea Spencer is in her fourth season as an assistant coach with the Oregon softball team.
Oregon players quickly responded to her charismatic and high-energy approach as the team staked its first-ever Pac-12 title in 2013. Spencer helped the Ducks repeat in 2014 and win a third straight title in 2015. Spencer and the Ducks advanced to the Women's College World Series in 2014 and 2015 as well.
Spencer and the Ducks have won 50+ games in each of her first three seasons in the dugout. Oregon won 50 games in 2013 before posting a school record 56 wins in 2014, as the Ducks claimed their first ever No. 1 national ranking. UO went 51-8 in 2015, including 21-1 at home.
A four-time WCWS particpant as a player with California and a professional in the NPF, Spencer brings an incredible amount of experience and expertise to Oregon's infielders.
In 2015, Spencer helped mold Oregon's infield into a strong unit despite three new regulars. Third baseman Jenna Lilley hit .427 in her rookie campaign while earning Pac-12 Freshman of the Year honors. Transfer Hailey Decker, a second baseman at Nebraska, transitioned seamlessly to first base under Spencer's guidance. All four infielders earned all-league honors, with Lilley a first team choice, shortstop Nikki Udria a second team selection, Decker an honorable mention and second baseman Lauren Lindvall a Pac-12 all-freshman choice.
In 2014, under her leadership Oregon made just 50 errors in 66 games, the fewest in program history. Senior third baseman Courtney Ceo hit an NCAA-best .493 while freshman Udria, a starter in 61 games, was named to the Pac-12 all-freshman team.
In addition to working with the infielders and defense, Spencer runs Oregon's highly successful camp program. The Ducks hold camps for players of all levels throughout the year in Eugene as well as both Northern and Southern California.
Before her tenure in Eugene, the former all-star pro player and All-America shortstop served two seasons as an assistant coach at Michigan State. Serving as the Spartans’ hitting instructor, infield coach and recruiting coordinator, she helped shortstop Lindsey Hansen claim her first All-America honor in 2011, while center fielder Kylene Hopkins earned all-Big Ten laurels in 2012.
The previous four seasons from 2007-10, 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. 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 HS junior varsity team 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 (2007-10), played for the league champion Thunder in 2009 and was a team captain for the Force in 2007.
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 2002, and runner-up finishes in 2003 and 2004. Among her individual accolades, she was an NFCA third team All-American, all-Pac-12 and all-region pick as a junior in 2004, and a WCWS all-tournament team pick as a freshman in 2002.
Before her collegiate career, the San Leandro, Calif., native a four-time All-Hayward Area Athletic League selection at Arroyo High School. As a junior, she was named the HAAL Player of the Year and selected to ANG Newspaper's Best of the Best in 2000 and 2001. Her teams won HAAL titles in 1998 and 1999, while her West Bay Nuggets club team finished in third (1999) and fifth (2000) at ASA Nationals. She also played prep basketball and was a two-time All-HAAL selection.
She graduated from Cal in 2005 with a degree in American studies.
SPENCER COACHING CAREER TIMELINE
Oregon (assistant coach, 2013-pres.), Michigan State (assistant coach, 2011-12), Chabot Community College (head coach, 2007-10), Holy Names (graduate assistant coach, 2008), Alameda High School (junior varsity head coach, 2006)