Karen Yoder enters her first season as an assistant coach in 2018. Former head coach at UC Davis, Yoder brings an impressive background in developing talent and sustaining academic excellence.
During her 10 years at the helm at UC Davis, Yoder guided the program through its final three years of transition to Division I. Yoder led the Aggies to the Big West Conference title in 2010 to play in the NCAA Regional at Stanford. In that same year, Yoder was named Big West Coach of the Year.
Under Yoder’s guidance, 36 Aggies received all-conference honors (16 first-teamers) with two hurlers — Alex Holmes (2010) and Jessica Hancock (2008) named Big West Pitcher of the Year.
The 2012-13 season marked her first as part of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Diversity Committee. This five-member panel focuses its efforts on reviewing current standards concerning diversity in the NFCA, and the sport, and recommends changes and clarification in NFCA policies and procedures, and for the sport in general, relating to diversity.
Yoder was among a select group of coaches from across the nation invited to attend Dimension II of the NCAA Women's Coaches Academy in Chicago, Ill, in 2011. This took place just one year after she was chosen as the NFCA's All-America Committee chairperson (serving a second term as the organization's Pacific Region representative), elected as a member of the NFCA Ethics Committee and head coach representative for UC Davis' Title IX Athletic Administrative Advisory Committee.
In 2008, she was also invited to participate in the NCAA's Women's Coaches Academy - designed for female coaches who are ready and willing to increase their individual effectiveness by learning advanced skills and strategies that directly affect their personal and team success.
Before taking over at UC Davis, Yoder was the head coach at Napa Valley College during the 2003 and 2004 seasons, compiling a 45-40 mark. She led Napa to the Bay Valley Conference title in her first season, earning BVC Coach of the Year honors. In 2004, Yoder guided the Storm to a runner-up finish in the league's West Division.
Prior to her stint at NVC, she served as head coach at North Carolina Greensboro where she guided the Spartans to a 31-27 mark in 2001 and a 35-30-1 finish in 2002.
Yoder held her first head coaching position at Cal State Hayward (now known as Cal State East Bay), where she guided the Pioneers to an overall record of 80-56-1 in three years. She twice won Cal Pac Conference Coach of the Year accolades, posting a combined league record of 32-3 during 1999 and 2000. Yoder had served as an assistant coach at Hayward for two years.
As a collegiate player, Yoder lettered three years as a catcher and designated player at New Mexico from 1991 to 1994. She previously played at West Valley College, where she was selected as NorCal Catcher of the Year in 1990. She won All-America honors as a catcher the following year at the ASA national tournament.
After her collegiate career, Yoder played two years in the Women's Professional Fastpich League as a member of the Georgia Pride and the Durham Dragons. In fact, she was a teammate of UC Davis All-American Trisha Reinhardt (Hayes).
Yoder earned her B.S. in kinesiology/professional perspectives from Cal State Hayward in 1996 and added a master's degree in that field in 1999. She served as an instructor both at Hayward and at Napa Valley College.
Yoder and her husband, Shawn, have three children - Jenna, Michael and Natalee.
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