Sam Houston State alumna Tori Rivera joined the staff as an assistant coach in August 2018.
Rivera serves as the hitting coach, instructs the Bearkat outfield and coordinates team travel. Rivera assisted the Bearkats in winning the 2019 Southland Conference regular-season and tournament championships by coaching a first-team all-conference outfielder and five all-conference hitters.
Formerly Tori Benavidez, Rivera coached alongside previous head coach Bob Brock and Valis from 2014 to 2015. She was responsible for conducting outfield workouts and assisting left-handed hitters and slappers.
Rivera returned to SHSU after serving as the head softball coach and physical education instructor at North Zulch High School, where she led the Bulldogs to a playoff run.
Rivera coached the Texas Travelers travel ball club and also served as a baseball instructor and RBI softball coach for the Texas Rangers Baseball Club and helped with instruction in the beginning stages of the Urban Youth Academy.
Rivera completed her career as a Bearkat outfielder as Sam Houston’s second all-time leading hitter with a four-year .358 batting average.
The standout started in centerfield from 2010 to 2013 and was named the Southland Conference Softball Student-Athlete of the Year following her senior season.
Rivera also earned 2013 Southland Conference Player of the Year and Hitter of the Year honors after leading the league in runs scored (51), total hits (52), total bases (117) and stolen bases (22) while taking second in batting average (.406) and at-bats (202).
The first-team all-conference selection earned all-tournament laurels after leading the Bearkats to the championship game of the 2013 Southland tournament and was named to the NCAA Central All-Region Team.
A native of Midlothian, Texas, Rivera graduated cum laude with a 3.50 GPA in general business with a minor in kinesiology and entrepreneurship and was the first Southland Conference softball Student-Athlete of the Year from SHSU. She obtained her master’s degree in sports management in 2014 with a 4.0 GPA from SHSU.
Rivera married her husband, Stevyn, in 2015 and the two welcomed their daughter, Spencer, in 2018.