From Texas Tech Athletics:
LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech softball coach Shanon Hays announced Thursday the hiring of former South Carolina standout Chrissy Schoonmaker as the program's new assistant coach.
Schoonmaker spent the past two seasons as the volunteer assistant coach at her alma mater and will work primarily with the Red Raider infielders while also serving as first base coach and base running instructor.
She replaces Kristie Fox, who ended her three-year tenure at Tech in June when she became the new head coach at UT Arlington. Schoonmaker will also be the program's camp coordinator and will assist in both recruiting and scheduling future opponents.
"I feel like we found the perfect fit for our program to come in and keep us heading in the right direction," Hays said. "Chrissy was a great defensive player at South Carolina and learned under one of the best coaches in the game. She has an infectious personality which I think will make her a great recruiter. She also has a great reputation as a coach and teacher working with infielders, which is something we really sought after losing the majority of our infield from a year ago."
Schoonmaker will be charged early in developing a young Tech infield that returns only one starter from a year ago in first baseman Sandy James.
She worked with all aspects of Beverly Smith's program at South Carolina, assisting with the infielders, outfielders, and occasionally the pitching staff as well. The Gamecocks steadily improved their offensive numbers in each of her two seasons, breaking five single-season school records during that time, including the program's home run and slugging percentage marks.
"I am so excited to arrive in Lubbock and begin working with Texas Tech and its student-athletes," Schoonmaker said. "Words cannot contain my excitement. I would like to thank Coach Hays, Aly Sartini, and the entire athletics department for this incredible opportunity. I look forward to jumping in and continuing the success of the Red Raider softball program."
Schoonmaker, a Sebastian, Fla. native, began her coaching career as an assistant softball coach at Dreher (S.C.) High School in 2009 before being named the program's co-head coach the following season.
After finishing her playing career following the 2008 season, Schoonmaker worked in South Carolina's revenue development department before moving to a public relations position at Lexington Medical Center.
As a player, Schoonmaker was a four-year starter in the infield where she saw time at every position across the diamond while playing for legendary head coach Joyce Compton, who totaled more than 1,000 victories during her career that still ranks among the most all-time in NCAA history.
Schoonmaker started in 176 games during her career, totaling eight home runs and 34 RBI while also ranking among the top defensive infielders in the Southeastern Conference (SEC).
Prior to what was supposed to be her senior season in 2007, Schoonmaker suffered a broken neck caused by a car accident that fall. She recovered to return as one of the Gamecocks' regular starters the following season where she was named to the inaugural SEC all-defensive team.
The Gamecocks advanced to the postseason twice during her playing time, beginning with the 2004 trip to the NCAA Tucson Regional. South Carolina also made the postseason in 2007, advancing to its first-ever Super Regional while she was still recovering from her neck injury.
Schoonmaker was a five-time SEC Academic Honor Roll selection and two-time NFCA Scholar-Athlete honoree. She completed her undergraduate degree in psychology (minor in sports management) with one year of eligibility remaining in 2007 before later earning her masters in communications in 2009.