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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Angela Tincher Returns to Blacksburg as VT Pitching Coach

Coaching announcements from have been numerous practically ever since the 2013 season officially ended. New head coaches and assistants of all kind have been named and are settling into their new positions, while others have just taken over their new responsibilities and are just getting acclimated to their new position. I've kept a list of these moves with the intent to put up a comprehensive all-inclusive list closer to the start of the season. But there an announcement yesterday that I felt deserved an immediate blog post all of it's own.

Tincher will again don the Hokie colors in 2014
At 10:30 AM yesterday, the Virginia Tech softball program put out a press release that announced Angela Tincher O'Brien as the team's new pitching coach!

From the Tech press release:

“It is with great pleasure that I can announce Angela Tincher O’Brien as our new assistant coach,” [coach Scot] Thomas said. “Besides the fact that Angela is one the most-decorated athletes in Virginia Tech softball and Tech sports history is exciting for both me and our student-athletes, but her genuine desire to return to Blacksburg is what makes it a very special hire for me.
“What an tremendous opportunity for our pitching staff to work with one of the all-time greats in the history of college softball and one that is just as bought into wearing the maroon and orange as they are as a player at Virginia Tech!”

In my eyes, this was a HUGE move! Tincher O'Brien will replace Barb Sherwood, who was named head coach at Portland State. With no intention of insult towards Sherwood, as she was and is an excellent coach, I think the VT pitching staff just got better simply because of this hire. Any time you can bring in one of the all-time greats to tutor a very young staff, it's a great thing.

Tincher O'Brien has spent two seasons in the collegiate coaching ranks, as an assistant at Syracuse in 2010 and the pitching coach for the Maryland Terrapins in 2011. In both cases, her staff led their team to an NCAA berth (including an automatic bid for the Orange in 2010).

As a player, Tincher O'Brien's accolades and awards could fill more space than I've got. Just a FEW of her awards include three All-American nods and three ACC Player of the Year awards. She also threw a no-hitter against Team USA in 2008, and was the first pitcher to beat the national squad in one hundred eighty-five games. Her career ERA was an amazing 0.78, and her 2,149 strikeouts are third most in NCAA HISTORY. She threw 14 no-hitters, which also included two perfect games. She spent two seasons in the NPF after being drafted by the Akron Racers, and played a season in Japan in addition.

Tincher O'Brien served as a color commentator for USSSA Pride & ESPN3 broadcasts prior to her hiring, and was a volunteer pitching coach for Daytona State Community College while living in Orlando.

With Tincher and Courtney Liddle both back in the Tech dugout, I'd have no trouble foreseeing a Super Regionals appearance from the 2014 Hokies. This could be the hire of the off-season.

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