The only softball coach that Texas has ever known will be the school’s softball coach in 2018.
Speaking for Chris Plonsky, the women’s athletics director at Texas, a school spokesperson told the American-Statesman on Monday that Connie Clark will be the UT softball coach for the 2017-18 academic year. Clark received a three-year extension in 2015, so the longtime coach is “good to go” for the upcoming season.
Clark was in Texas’ dugout when the softball program debuted in 1997, and she has compiled an 840-375-3 record over 21 seasons. Texas reached the College World Series in 1998, 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2013. UT, though, has struggled to maintain its national relevance over the past few seasons.
Texas went 33-26 and was the Big 12’s fourth-place finisher in 2017, and the team’s most loss since 2001 has led to some grumbling in the stands and newspaper print. Texas still reached the NCAA tournament for a 13th straight year. The Longhorns also appeared in the championship round at a regional hosted by Texas A&M.
Clark will retain plenty of talent despite the loss of seven seniors, six of which started in a season-ending loss to Texas A&M. Catcher Taylor Ellsworth earned all-conference honors as a freshman, and classmates Tuesday DerMargosian, Jade Gortarez and Kaitlyn Washington made significant contributions this spring. Rising junior Erica Wright (8-7; 1.69 ERA) will anchor Texas’ pitching staff, and power-hitting outfielder Reagan Hathaway should be back from a knee injury.