Drawing upon more than two decades of collegiate coaching experience, Gina Vecchione is in her seventh season as the Cal Poly softball program's associate head coach.
Vecchione, who works primarily with the program's hitters and outfielders and coaches first base, has helped Cal Poly finish among the top two Big West Conference programs in fewest strikeouts per game in each of the previous five seasons (the Mustangs have averaged just 3.1 strikeouts per game since the start of 2014). In 2016, Cal Poly’s lineup batted .272 – the program's second highest mark in the previous seven seasons and a 21-point improvement from 2015. Cal Poly’s .288 team batting average in 2014 was a highwater mark under Vecchione and a 38-point improvement from 2013.
With Vecchione on staff, Cal Poly has enjoyed three winning seasons and one .500 campaign in the last five years. During that time span, Cal Poly has produced 38- and 33-win seasons.
Under Vecchione, Cal Poly has produced 15 All-Big West Conference selections in the past five seasons among position players.
Vecchione arrived on the central coast in 2012 after serving as an assistant for 13 seasons at UCLA (2000-12). With Vecchione on staff, the Bruins captured Women's College World Series championships in 2003, 2004 and 2010. Vecchione helped the 2010 UCLA championship squad set school records for home runs (108), slugging percentage (.602), on-base percentage (.432) and walks (244).
The Bruins, who appeared in the Women's College World Series championship game or series six times during Vecchione's tenure, also captured conference titles in 2002, 2006 and 2009.
With Vecchione in the dugout, the Bruins produced a 609-160-1 (.791) record with UCLA's staff earning NFCA Division I National Coaching Staff of the Year praise in 2004 and 2010.
“Gina's resume speaks for itself. She's excelled as a player and coach at every level in our sport and her experience of playing and coaching with national championship programs is invaluable to our players," said Mustang head coach Jenny Condon, who served as an assistant coach alongside Vecchione at Oregon State during the 1998 and 1999 seasons.
“As a player, Gina was an incredible hitter and outfielder. However, what really sets Gina apart is her passion and enthusiasm for the game. Nobody loves the game more than Gina and she has the unique ability to instill that love in her players.
“I’ve had the pleasure of playing for her and coaching with her,” added Condon, who won three National Women's Fastpitch League titles with the California Commotion under Vecchione. “I know from first-hand experience that Gina can improve any player or coach that she works with.”
A 2017 inductee into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame, Vecchione – a three-time NFCA All-Pacific Region selection as an outfielder (1980-82) – is one of only four Bruins to have a number retired (2). After helping UCLA to the first NCAA championship as a senior in 1982, Vecchione was named to the All-Women's College World Series team and as an All-American. As a junior in 1981, Vecchione led UCLA in doubles (10) and RBI (21).
Vecchione, a 1997 inductee into the Amateur Softball Association Hall of Fame, began her coaching career as a volunteer assistant at UCLA. A member of the 1983 United States National Team that earned a silver medal at the Pan American Games, Vecchione was a seven-time All-ASA selection with the Raybestos Brakettes (Stratford, Conn.) and assisted the club to eight national championships in 12 seasons. She finished as the leading batter at the 1988 ASA national tournament with a .444 average.
At the collegiate level, Vecchione spent five seasons as an assistant coach at Oregon State (1995-99) before accepting a position with UCLA. During her final season in Corvallis alongside Condon, Vecchione helped the Beavers advance to the NCAA Regional championship game where Oregon State fell a victory shy of advancing to the program's first Women's College World Series.
A native of New Rochelle, N.Y., Vecchione earned a sociology degree from UCLA in 1984.