New Houston Cougars head coach Kristin Vesely has rounded out her inaugural coaching staff with a pair of former all-American and professional players, adding Megan Gibson-Loftin and former national champion Jessica Shults to the coaching roster.
Both three-time all-Americans, Gibson-Loftin is a coaching veteran while this will be Shults’ first paid coaching position.
Gibson-Loftin, an all-American as a freshman; junior; and senior, ended her college career with five program offensive records in her pocket and was named conference Player and Pitcher of the Year as a senior, the first time the same player had swept those awards in Big 12 conference history.
Gibson played four seasons in the NPF after being drafted #2 overall by the Philadelphia Force in 2008.
Her resume includes stops as a graduate assistant and volunteer at her alma mater, as well as two years at Penn State and three seasons at UTSA.
Shults was part of the championship-winning 2013 Oklahoma squad and started every game of her career behind the plate. She earned three all-region and all-American honors, adding a similar trio of all-conference nods to her trophy case.
Shults, in her own right, spent three seasons in the NPF with the USSSA Pride after being drafted #4 overall in the 2013 draft. She also spent time on the US Women’s National Team in 2011 and 2012, earning a gold medal at the 2012 World Cup of Softball.
The position with the Cougars is Shults’ first paid position – she spent the last two seasons as a graduate assistant at her alma mater, where she was in charge of a variety of largely-administrative duties, as well as assisted with training.
Vesely was hired as the Cougars’ new head coach this offseason following the retirement of Kyla Holas. The squad finished the 2016 campaign with a record of 27-29 and failed to make the NCAA tournament.