UC San Diego Softball Camps
Patti Gerckens has led the UC San Diego softball team to back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Division II national championship game in each of her last two seasons at the helm. After winning the national title in 2011 for the first time in program history, the Tritons finished national runner-up in Gerckens' 20th season in charge of the program in 2012.
She has amassed an overall record of 530-454 in her 20-year career, boasting 411 more wins than any other coach in program history. Since guiding the team's transition from Division III to Division II in 2001, Gerckens has accumulated a 382-292 record while competing as a member of the ultra-competitive California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA), widely considered the best Division II conference in the country. In CCAA play alone, Gerckens has accumulated a 217-171 mark over the last eight seasons.
Since taking over the team in 1993, 25 of Gerckens' players have combined for 48 All-West Region selections. Twenty-seven of her players have earned All-CCAA honors since 2001. She's also coached four different All-Americans. Two of her players have earned CCAA Freshman of the Year honors and two Tritons have won CCAA Player or Pitcher of the Year during her tenure.
Gerckens has led UCSD softball to eight NCAA postseason appearances, five at the Division II level. UCSD is 21-12 in the NCAA Division II Tournament.
She's led the Tritons to a school-record 45 wins in each of the past two seasons. In 2012, the Tritons won the CCAA Tournament for the first time in program history after earning just the No. 4 seed for the conference tournament. The Tritons went 10-4 in their NCAA Tournament run, winning nine consecutive elimination games prior to appearing in the national championship game for the second straight year. The Tritons went 45-23, but fell to Valdosta State, 4-1, in the title game. The last time a defending national champion appeared in the NCAA title game the following year was Lock Haven in 2006-07.
Gerckens guided the Tritons to a perfect 9-0 record in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, capping the season off with a 10-3 win over then-No. 1 Alabama-Huntsville in the title game.
In 2011, UCSD compiled an overall record of 45-13, which stands as the most wins in a single season in program history and the highest win percentage (.776) since UCSD moved to Division II. The Tritons captured their first-ever CCAA regular-season championship and were awarded the No. 1 seed in the West Region for the NCAA Tournament. UCSD swept its opponents in the postseason on its way to the first national championship in program history.
Gerckens also earned 2011 CCAA Coach of the Year, the second of her storied career. In 20 seasons at UCSD, Gerckens' squads have won 30 or games eight times and have finished with a winning record in 13 of those years. Her staff of Jessica Millsap, Allison May, Nichole Willis and Sara Robinson was honored as the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division II National Coaching Staff of the Year and NFCA West Region Coaching Staff of the Year.
After being picked to finish fifth in the 2011 CCAA Preseason Coaches' Poll, the Tritons started the season 16-2 and jumped into the NFCA Top 25 at No. 11 on Feb. 16. UCSD would remain ranked for all 13 weeks during the regular season, including seven weeks in the top 10. UCSD ended the year as the No. 1 team in the NFCA Top 25 for the first time in school history.
In 2010, UCSD opened the brand-new Triton Softball Field adjacent to RIMAC. It included new dugouts, a netted backstop, fencing and a press box. Moreover, it was made possible by a $250,000 contribution from Dana Chaiken (UCSD Class of 1991) and was the largest contribution ever made by an alumni athlete. The 2010 Tritons compiled an overall record of 30-20, winning 15 of their 18 contests in the month of March. They peaked at the Tournament of Champions in Turlock, March 26-28, by earning a spot in the Gold Bracket.
In 2009, the Tritons recorded their second-ever NCAA postseason victory, knocking off CCAA rival Cal State Monterey Bay, 2-1. UCSD's 30-25 season, which ended with a 4-3 loss to Hawaii Pacific, featured Gerckens' career win No. 400 - a 6-4 win over Grand Canyon at the Tournament of Champions on April 4. The season of 2009 represented the third straight season of both NCAA playoffs and more than 30 wins.
In 2008, Gerckens' squad finished with an overall record of 32-24 and 15-17 in the CCAA to advance to postseason play. The Tritons lost a 6-4 decision to Cal State Dominguez Hills on the first day of regional play, before falling to eventual national champion Humboldt State, 3-1, to end the season.
A breakout season in 2007 propelled UCSD to its second-ever berth in the NCAA West Regional after the Tritons posted a 35-27 record during the regular season. Third-seeded UCSD recorded a hard-fought, 1-0 victory in the opening round over Sonoma State, but Gerckens' squad suffered back-to-back heartbreaking losses to second-seeded Cal State Stanislaus and top-seeded Humboldt State to end its postseason run.
Despite the exit from the NCAA regional, the Tritons turned in one of their best seasons in program history in 2007, finishing with a 23-12 record in CCAA play, good enough for a second-place finish in the conference standings. Gerckens was named the 2007 CCAA Coach of the Year and had four players named to All-CCAA teams. She also had two of her student-athletes earn NFCA First Team All-West Region honors.
Gerckens reached a major milestone in 2006, earning career win No. 300 after UCSD knocked off Sonoma State, 12-7, at home on Feb. 25. In 2001, the program's first year at D-II, the Tritons posted an overall record of 34-17 -- just one victory shy of the school's all-time mark. The Tritons finished tied for second in the CCAA with a conference record of 21-11 that season. Gerckens became the winningest coach in UCSD softball history during the 2000 campaign, taking home the prestigious UCSD Excellence in Coaching Award for her achievement.
Gerckens went 6-28 in her first season at the helm in 1993; however, she posted a 19-18 record in 1994 and had a winning season in five of her next eight seasons as head coach. In 1997, she led the Tritons to their first Division III West Regional appearance since 1991. The Tritons made their last appearance at the Division III West Regional in 2000, before Gerckens and the Tritons moved to Division II in 2001.
UCSD made its first appearance at the NCAA Division II West Regional in 2002, matching a then-school record 35 wins in the process.
Gerckens has served on several NCAA committees during her tenure, including Ethics, Regional and Rules committees.
Gerckens graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1989 with a bachelor's degree in health and physical education. She was a four-year starter at second base for the Tar Heels and also played for the New Jersey Blue Jays of the Amateur Softball Association for nine years, winning a national championship in 1992.