Tairia Flowers, who has enjoyed success as an outstanding collegiate player, an Olympic gold medal winner and as a successful collegiate assistant coach, starts her fourth season as head coach of the softball program at Cal State Northridge in 2014.
The 2013 season saw the Matadors bounce back with vigor. CSUN tied for the sixth-best turnaround in all of Division I with a 25-31 overall record and an 11-13 mark in Big West play. As a team, CSUN hit more home runs than its opponents and had 65 doubles. In the circle, the Matadors allowed the fewest home runs in the league while lowering their team ERA by almost two full runs. One of the biggest moments of the season came in a dramatic 3-2 victory over UCLA in which the Matadors walked off with the win on a two-out, two-run home run. CSUN also won three Big West series (Cal Poly, Pacific, UC Riverside) and after the year, Mikayla Thielges, Shelly Tait and Maylynn Mitchell all received All-Big West honors.
Although the 2012 season was difficult from a win-loss perspective, Flowers and the Matadors strung together several big moments throughout the campaign. Mia Pagano led CSUN to several notable victories (Iowa, Fresno State, Cal Poly) and Northridge won its final series in Stockton against the Pacific Tigers. Following the season, Pagano received All-Big West Second Team honors.
In her first season at CSUN, Flowers accomplished several impressive feats that set the stage for big things to follow. The Matadors recorded four wins over teams participating in the NCAA Tournament and won their final three Big West Conference series, including the club's first series victory at Cal State Fullerton since 1998. The Matadors also led the Big West Conference in team defense, sporting a .967 fielding percentage for the season. Individually, Flowers oversaw All-Big West First Team seasons from Jaci Carlsen and Mikayla Thielges while Kristen Mihm and Jennifer Mosier also earned honors from the league's coaches.
During the 2011 season, Flowers was named an assistant coach for USA Softball. She will work at several events during the summer, including the World Cup of Softball July 21-25 in Oklahoma City. In addition to her time in Oklahoma City, Flowers will work at the team's selection camp in Chula Vista, Calif., from June 13-17. She will then be part of tour stops in Salem, Virginia (June 29) and Bowie, Maryland (July 1).
Flowers began her new duties at Cal State Northridge after serving for four seasons (2007-10) as an assistant softball coach at Big West rival Long Beach State. 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.
Her 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. She 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. 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. She is married to CSUN women's basketball head coach Jason Flowers. The couple has two children, daughter Jasmine and son Jayce.