Former Olympian announced as next head softball coach

by Jason Freund, Sports Editor

On May 14, Kathy Van Wykk officially announced her retirement after 25 years of coaching San Diego State softball.

Her associate head coach, Stacey Nuveman Deniz, had been named the head coach in-waiting prior to the 2020 season.

Now, she will officially step into the position as she was announced as the next head coach for the Aztecs in June 2021.

“I am humbled and honored to have this opportunity to lead San Diego State Softball into the future,” Nuveman Deniz said in a press release. “Kathy Van Wyk spent 25 years building this program, and now it is my turn to take the reins and continue that growth. I would like to thank (SDSU director of athletics) John David Wicker for this opportunity and for the unwavering support he has shown me. The university, the city of San Diego and our incredible community have captured my heart and I truly am an Aztec for Life. I can’t wait to get started.”

Nuveman Deniz has spent the past 13 seasons with the Aztecs and is the fifth head coach in program history. In those 13 years, SDSU softball has posted a 398-264 record — good for a .601 win percentage.

Under her tutelage, SDSU has seen improvements in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, runs-per-game and home runs per game, all while assisting the Scarlet and Black to seven consecutive NCAA tournaments from 2009-2015.

Nuveman Deniz brings a wealth of softball experience after seven years of success at the national and international levels of the game.

As a four-year player at UCLA, Nuveman Deniz led the Bruins to four NCAA Women’s College World Series appearances, was a four-time NFCA first team All-American, three time PAC-10 Player of the Year (1999, 2001, 2002) and a finalist for the Honda Award — the award given to the nation’s top softball player.

Nuveman Deniz was a three-time U.S. Olympian, winning gold in 2000 and 2004, silver in 2008, with a collective .328 batting average and .596 slugging percentage in 250 Olympic at-bats.