The SAMMYS were handed out for academic, athletics and community service excellence.
Letty Olivarez joined the San José State Spartans softball staff as an assistant coach in 2017, working specifically with the pitchers and catchers, and her impact was felt immediately.
The Spartans, a team known for years for its hitting prowess, boasted the Mountain West most dominant pitching staff in 2017. In large part to its success in the circle, the team won its first Mountain West softball title, a bid to the NCAA Regional and its first postseason victory.
Behind Oliverez’s tutelage, senior Katelyn Linford had the finest season of her career. Linford, posted a 24-8 record, with four saves, 192 strikeouts and a 2.45 ERA in 211.1 innings of work. Linford earned All-America, NFCA All-Pacific Region, first-team All-Mountain West and first-team CoSIDA Academic All-District VIII honors and ranked first or second in the Mountain West in ERA, innings, strikeouts, wins and appearances and she tossed the 12th no-hitter in program history and first in 12 years. Combied with Colette Riggs, a second-team All-Mountain West honoree, the two went 34-13 on the year and posed an ERA under 2.40.
Oliverez’s staff led the league in wins, ranked second in ERA, strikeouts, shutouts, saves and fewest runs allowed and held opponents to a .261 batting average, the third best in the Mountain West.
In 2016, as co-head coach at Arizona State, she led the Sun Devils to an NCAA Regional appearance while developing four NFCA All-West Region, three All-Pac-12 Conference, and two Pac-12 All-Freshman Team selections. In addition, four players were Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar recipients and one earned CoSIDA Academic All-District VIII designation.
Playing her college ball at Wisconsin where she earned All-Big Ten honors as a senior, Oliverez spent one year (2011) with the Badgers as a student assistant before returning home to Northern California and joining the staff at Stanford.
In three years at Stanford (2012-14), the team made two appearances in the NCAA Regional and Olivarez coached two National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Americans, nine NFCA All-West Region award winners, 13 All Pac-12 Conference Team selections, one USA National Player of the Year, and two Finalists for Lowe’s Seniors Class.
After Stanford, Olivarez spent the 2015 season at Cal State Northridge (CSUN) where she helped lead the Matadors program to its first outright Big West Championship in 19 seasons and its first NCAA Regional appearance since 2007.
At Cal State Northridge, she coached four NFCA All-West Region and six Big West All-Conference honorees. Olivarez developed CSUN’s first Big West Freshman Pitcher of the Year, Zoe Conley. In addition, Conley made both the All-Big West First Team and Big West All-Freshman Team, compiling a 19-7 record and 1.84 ERA with 134 strikeouts and eight shutouts. The Matadors also had the Big West Player of the Year, a Finalist for NFCA Freshman of the Year, the program’s first USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Week and its first USA Junior National Team Pitcher.