The Mountain West Conference named former University of Arizona standout Kristie Fox Coach of the Year on Wednesday. Fox earned this honor for the first time in her career and she became the first UNLV coach to receive the award since 2007.
According to a release, Fox, in her fourth year, led the Rebels to a fourth consecutive winning season, finishing with a 25-15 mark overall and a 17-7 record in conference play. The 17 league wins matched a program record for the most in conference play since UNLV joined the Mountain West in 2000. The Rebels won six conference series (a seventh was won via SJSU forfeit), which is the most for UNLV since the league switched to a three-game series format prior to the 2012 season. That includes handing eventual Mountain West Champion Fresno State its only series loss all season. While there is still one weekend of play remaining for the rest of the league, UNLV will finish no lower than tied for second, which is its best finish since 2014. In three Mountain West seasons under Fox (2020 was canceled), the Rebels haven’t finished lower than fourth and have improved one spot in the standings each year. On March 6, 2021 Fox reached 100 wins at UNLV, doing so in only 143 games to become the fastest coach to reach the milestone in school history.
Prior to coming to Las Vegas, Fox spent five years as head coach at UT Arlington and before UT Arlington, Fox was an assistant coach at Texas Tech for three years. Fox began her coaching career at Arizona, serving as the undergraduate assistant for the Wildcats in 2008, while she completed her degree in psychology. She then spent a year as assistant coach at Murray State before moving on to Texas Tech prior to the 2010 season.
Fox also boasts national team experience, both as a player and as a coach. A former member of the USA Elite Team, she earned a gold medal in the College World Games in Taiwan with Team USA in 2006. For three years, she served as an assistant coach for the USA Junior Women’s National Team.
Fox was a two-time All-American during her collegiate career at Arizona. She reached the pinnacle of the college game as she led the Wildcats to back-to-back NCAA Championships during her junior and senior years (2006 and 2007). As a senior, she set a Women’s College World Series record with 11 hits, helping the school to its eighth national crown in softball.
As a player, Fox finished her collegiate career (2004-07) with a .350 batting average, 260 hits and 230 RBI, while leading Arizona to a 203-43-1 record over her four years. Her All-American honors followed her sophomore and junior seasons in 2005 and 2006, respectively. After her senior season, she was chosen in the first round of the 2007 National Professional Fastpitch League Draft by the Chicago Bandits.
She was inducted into the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame in August of 2018.
Portions from UNLV release.
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