Mizzou Athletic Director Jim Sterk is conducting a national search for the Tigers next softball coach. Sterk let Gina Fogue go after she was named interim head coach days before the season when longtime coach Ehren Earleywine was fired. The Tigers went 30-29 and made it to NCAA regionals for a 12th straight season, but the coaching staff and players were notified of the change after losing to Oklahoma.
“A national search is underway to recruit the very best individual to lead Mizzou Softball into the future,” Mizzou athletics director Jim Sterk said in a statement released Tuesday. “Our program enjoys a rich tradition, plays in a state-of-the-art facility and competes in the nation’s toughest conference, and it is our desire to build upon past successes moving forward. We will not utilize a search consultant in this process, and in order to protect the integrity of the search, I will have no further public comments regarding the process or the status of any candidates until the announcement of Mizzou’s next head softball coach is made.”
Before the Tigers left for Norman, I had an informal conversation with Gina and was just asking her about her first season as head coach. I asked Gina what the biggest adjustment was from being an assistant coach to a head coach and she told me it was having the sometimes difficult conversations with student-athletes. I took that as the honest assessment discussions coaches will have with players on their game.
I told her I wasn’t going to ask about her future at Mizzou or whether or not she knew at that time what Sterk was thinking, but I did ask her after getting a taste of being a head coach if this was something she would like to pursue whether or not it was in Columbia and Gina didn’t hesitate.
There is no doubt Gina has a feel for the game and will continue as a successful coach on the college level.