POSTED: Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 11:08am
UPDATED: Friday, June 21, 2013 - 12:07pm
El Paso, TX — Tobin Echo-Hawk, who directed Portland State to four NCAA Regional appearances and four conference titles in the last five years while mentoring 37 All-Conference players, has been selected to lead the UTEP softball program.
“We conducted an extensive national search and felt like Tobin was a great fit with her success as a player and proven ability to lead programs,” UTEP Director of Athletics Bob Stull said. “She has excelled as a head coach at the high school and collegiate levels, repeatedly winning championships and developing All-Conference and All-Academic players. She has earned conference coach of the year honors each of the last five years at Portland State. We’re excited about the future of UTEP Softball under her guidance.”
"I would like to thank Director of Athletics Bob Stull for this exciting opportunity,” Echo-Hawk said. “I am looking forward to becoming a part of the UTEP family and the wonderful community of El Paso. I feel like this is a tremendous opportunity to build a successful program that will compete not only in Conference USA but on the national level as well."
Echo-Hawk was head coach at Portland State from 2009-13, compiling a record of 146-127 including 78-20 in conference play. She earned conference coach of the year honors all five years (Pacific Coast Softball Conference 2009-12, Big Sky 2013). Under her tutelage eight players garnered Conference Player or Pitcher of the Year accolades. She also had six players earn placement on the NFCA All-Pacific Region team, and 46 merited conference Player or Pitcher of the Week recognition. Echo-Hawk’s student-athletes excelled in the classroom as well, with one appointment to the CoSIDA Academic All-District team and 41 selections to the PCSC Commissioner’s Honor Roll.
In 2009 she led Portland State to a 29-26 mark, including 15-5 in the PCSC. Her 2010 squad was 30-27 overall and 18-2 in league play. The 2011 squad fashioned a 34-18 mark (16-4 conference). The Vikings were 28-25 in 2012 with a 15-5 league ledger. Portland State capped the 2013 campaign with a 25-31 record as the Vikings rolled through the Big Sky Conference, winning 14 of 18 conference games.
She recorded her first NCAA Tournament win as a coach on May 18, 2012, as Portland State topped Mississippi State 2-0 in Eugene, Ore.
In five seasons under Echo-Hawk’s direction, Portland State faced 40 ranked opponents. The Vikings knocked off #16 DePaul in 2009, #19 Oregon in 2010 and #16 BYU in 2011, then gave #11 Washington all it could handle in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Regionals before dropping a 2-1 decision.
Echo-Hawk’s time in Portland produced numerous team and individual accomplishments. In 2009 outfielder Jackie Heide and Nichole Latham were appointed the PCSC co-Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year, respectively. The Vikings produced their best batting average (.286), run total (246) and stolen base count (54) in 12 years in Echo-Hawk’s first season at the helm of the program, while matching the school standard for doubles (65).
In 2010 catcher Brandi Scoggins was selected the PCSC Mountain Division co-Player of the Year, and Anna Bertrand was tabbed the co-Freshman of the Year and Pitcher of the Year. The Vikings set school single-season marks for doubles (65), strikeouts (355) and saves (six). Portland State’s pitching staff led the PCSC in wins, ERA, saves, strikeouts, shutouts and opponent batting average.
In 2011 the Vikings batted .308 as a team, their highest figure at the Division I level. They also established school single-season records for RBI (244), sacrifice flies (20) and slugging percentage (.408). Outfielder Jenna Krogh led the PCSC in batting with a .398 average. A school-record 10 players earned All-Conference honors that year led by second baseman Carly McEachran, the PCSC Mountain Division Player of the Year, and Nichole Latham, the Mountain Division Pitcher of the Year.
Bertrand continued her dominating run the last two years. She was chosen the 2012 PSCS Mountain Division Pitcher of the Year, fashioning a 12-4 mark with a 1.35 ERA. In 2013 she was named the Big Sky Conference Pitcher of the Year, compiling a 21-17 record with a 2.69 ERA. She recorded 202 strikeouts in 250 innings with 29 complete games.
The Louisville, Colo. native served as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Portland State from 2006-08 prior to being elevated to head coach. She previously was a volunteer assistant coach at her alma mater, the University of Nebraska, from 1996-97 before taking the reins of the softball programs at Centaurus High School in Lafayette, Colo. (1999-2002) and Broomfield High School in Broomfield, Colo. (2003-06).
Her stint at Centaurus HS produced three state championship appearances (1999-2001), three league titles (1999-2001) and two Coach of the Year honors (2001 & 2002). She coached 12 players to the All-Conference team and three to the All-State squad. Her tenure at Broomfield HS resulted in a pair of state semifinal berths (2005 & 2006) as nine players earned All-Conference honors with four being tabbed to the All-State team.
As a player at Nebraska (1992-96), Echo-Hawk was a two-time All-American and a four-time first team All-Conference selection – three times in the Big Eight and once in the Big 12. She was also a three-time first team All-Midwest Region honoree. A third baseman, she holds school single-season records for batting average (.439), doubles (22), runs scored (66) and assists (170). She also holds Cornhusker career records for hits (266) and doubles (48).
She played professionally for the Akron Racers (1998-2000, 2005) and the Rhea Vendors in the Italian League (2002-04). As a second baseman, she was a two-time Women’s Pro Softball League All-Star and was appointed the Italian League MVP in 2002. She is a member of the Colorado ASA Softball Hall of Fame.
She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Nebraska in 1996, and added a Masters of Curriculum and Instruction from Portland State in 2010.