July 16, 2010
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - A new era for Cal State Northridge softball starts now.
Tairia Flowers, who has enjoyed success as an outstanding collegiate player, an Olympic gold medal winner and as a successful collegiate assistant coach, has been named head coach of the softball program at Cal State Northridge. Flowers' appointment was announced today by CSUN Athletic Director Rick Mazzuto.
"Tairia has all the ingredients to become a highly successful head coach," said Mazzuto. "She has been a winner as a player on an NCAA championship team and as an Olympic gold medal winner. She has enjoyed success as a coach at UCLA, UC Riverside and Long Beach State. I'm excited to have her join the Matador coaching family."
Flowers begins her new duties at Cal State Northridge after serving the past four seasons (2007-10) as an assistant softball coach at Big West rival Long Beach State.
"I feel Cal State Northridge offers so many opportunities to its student-athletes," said Flowers. "There are great academic resources, the University is in a good location and the community is just waiting to get involved. This institution has everything a student-athlete needs to be competitive on the field and successful in the classroom. All of these factors make me excited to be a Matador. I'd like to thank Rick Mazzuto (Athletics Director) and Janet Pinneau (Associate Athletic Director/SWA) for putting their trust in me to add to the great softball tradition."
As a member of the 49ers coaching staff, Flowers helped the team to two NCAA Tournament appearances and Top-25 rankings on numerous occasions.
Flowers helped coach 29 Big West All-Conference selections and six Academic All-Americans. As a team, Long Beach State set numerous and individual school records including batting average, runs batted in, doubles, triples and walks.
Flowers' responsibilities at Long Beach State included coaching, recruiting, scheduling, designing a conditioning program, field maintenance, coordinating academics and being a positive voice for Long Beach State softball in the community.
Flowers was a four-year letter winner (2000-03) at UCLA. During her tenure with the Bruins, Flowers helped UCLA to four appearances at the College World Series including being a member of the 2003 NCAA championship team. Flowers earned All-American honors twice (2001, 2003) and was a three-time member of the All-College World Series team (2000, 2001, 2003).
As a player at UCLA, Flowers batted .373 with 61 home runs, 59 doubles, seven triples and 228 rbi's. Flowers ranks second on UCLA's all-time list in home runs, games played (252, all of which were starts), RBI's and total bases (252).
Flowers' outstanding talents on the softball field at UCLA led to a berth on the United States National Softball team since 2001. In 2004, Flowers helped the United States to a perfect record and the gold medal in Athens, Greece, and to a silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Flowers has also won gold medals at the 2002 and 2006 World Championships, the 2003 and 2007 Pan Am Games, and the 2001 U.S. Cup.
In the summer of 2007, Flowers had an outstanding season in international play, leading the team by hitting .543 (19-for-35) with 33 rbi's and six home runs. Flowers hit a grand slam at the KFC World Cup and was named the Canada Cup MVP as Team USA won both events. The team also won another gold medal at the Pan American Games.
Flowers was a multiple All-Star player in the National Pro Fastpitch League.
Flowers' coaching career on the collegiate level began in 2004 when she served as an undergraduate softball coach at her alma mater, UCLA. During the 2005 campaign, Flowers helped coach two Bruin All-Americans and five Pac-10 Conference players.
After UCLA, Flowers then served as an assistant coach at UC Riverside (2006 season). At the time, UCR won the most games in school history, and she helped produce four all-conference players and one all-region player. Her duties included coaching, recruiting, and coordinating academic and travel.
Flowers graduated from UCLA in 2005 with a degree in History.
Flowers is married with two children, daughter Jasmine and son Jayce.
"Joining the Cal State Northridge Athletics Department is truly a fantastic opportunity," said Flowers. "I couldn't have asked for a more supportive administration and am ready to work to keep this program at the top of the Big West Conference and into the NCAA Tournament. Cal State Northridge has a tradition that not many in the conference or the country can match. Knowing where the program has been and what it is capable of accomplishing is truly exciting."