Sam Houston State head softball coach Garrett Valis has announced the hiring of Tess Soefje to be the new pitching and catching coach for the 2020 season.

Soefje (Sef-gee) spent the 2019 season as a volunteer assistant coach at Illinois. She will also serve as the Bearkats’ recruiting coordinator.  

“I am very excited to add coach Soefje to our staff,” Valis said. “Her work ethic and passion for coaching are infectious. She brings Power Five coaching experience and has a firm understanding of the state of Texas recruiting landscape.

“Tess will do a great job of developing our athletes, be a positive, detailed leader and continue to help our program bring in talented athletes.”

Before joining the staff at Illinois, Soefje spent two years as a graduate student at Ole Miss. She worked with pitchers and catchers, and as a former collegiate player at UTSA, she helped mentor players with mental preparation for games and off-the-field issues of college softball.

While at Ole Miss, Soefje also coordinated apparel and equipment management, assisted with the director of operations on game day and recruiting events and assisted with managing team travel.

Soefje was a three-year starter at catcher for the Roadrunners after transferring from Houston. She hit 20 home runs in 152 career starts and ended her career as the NCAA record holder for hits-by-pitch per game.

The Frisco native was a National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-American Scholar and was named to the Conference USA Honor Roll at both UTSA and Houston. She graduated from UTSA with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2016 and also earned a bachelor’s degree in integrated marketing communications from the University of Mississippi in 2018.