Southern Miss & Other Coaches
August 10 2011
Southern Mississippi Hires Voak and Malgradi
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss Director of Athletics Richard Giannini announced today the hiring of Kirsten Voak and Jon Malgradi as Co-Head Coaches for the Southern Miss softball program effective immediately pending approval by the IHL Board of Supervisors.
“We are extremely excited that Kirsten Voak and Jon Malgradi will head our softball program in the future,” said Giannini. “At Arizona State, Kirsten was an All-American, played in four NCAA Regional’s, two Women’s College World Series (WCWS) and won the National Championship as an assistant coach (pitching) in 2008.
“The recommendations we received from some of the top coaches in the game were incredible, and as co-head coaches, they will bring a dynamic combination that will put our program back in NCAA Regional and Women’s College World Series contention. We were very pleased with the pool of candidates; however, Kirsten and Jon’s experience stood out and were the unanimous choice of our search committee.”
Voak comes to Southern Miss after spending the 2006-2010 seasons at her alma mater, Arizona State, where she served as an assistant under head coach Clint Myers. In her five seasons with the team, the Sun Devils went 264-73 and won the 2008 WCWS National Championship. That year, Voak and the other members of the ASU coaching staff were named the National Coaching Staff of the Year. The Sun Devils were one of the top programs in the nation and made five consecutive trips to the Super Regional stage of the tournament and four consecutive trips to the WCWS.
While serving as the pitching coach, Voak developed three-time All-American pitcher Katie Burkheart, who was also named the MVP of the 2008 WCWS. She was also responsible for the development of six other All-Americans while at ASU.
Voak was a standout pitcher for ASU from 1999 through 2002, earning All-American honors in 1999 and 2000 and was also a three-time All-Pac-10 selection, earning the distinction in 1999, 2000, and 2001. As a player, she is third all-time in ASU history with 76 wins, including four no-hitters and a perfect game. She is the school’s all-time leader with 893 strikeouts, and ended her collegiate career with a 1.48 ERA. Voak’s name is all over the single season record book as well, holding the top two spots for single season strikeouts (316 in 2000, 314 in 1999), and she owns the second highest single season win total, 30 in 2000.
Voak was named the ASU Pitcher of the Year three times, and was a member of 1999 Junior Olympic Team and the 2001 ASA/USA National Softball team, helping lead them to the U.S. Cup, where they took home the gold medal. Voak also owns the State of California record with seven perfect games in 1998.
“We are very excited about this opportunity, and becoming part of the Southern Miss family,” the couple said in a joint statement. “We are excited for the task at hand of being a part of a new era in Golden Eagle Softball. We want to thank Mr. Giannini and Sonya Varnell for this opportunity to lead Southern Miss softball. It is also a great privilege to share this opportunity to work together as a family, and to move Southern Miss to national prominence. We can’t wait to meet our new players and begin an exciting revolution in college softball.”
Malgradi comes to Southern Miss after spending the previous three seasons as the head coach at Mesa Community College in Mesa, Ariz., where he compiled a 102-76 record, including a top-10 ranking in 2011 and a regular season conference championship in 2010. The program also set school record marks for wins (42) and their highest ranking in the NJCAA National Poll (No. 2). From 2006-10, he also was a clinician at all ASU softball camps.
Prior to Mesa, Malgradi coached at Central Arizona College in 2008, leading the Vaqueros to a .403 team batting average, and a Division I NJCAA record 484 runs in 62 games.
In 2006-07, Malgradi coached varsity at Seton Catholic High School where he also taught science, biology, and anatomy physiology. In winning a state title at Seton Catholic, Coach Malgradi’s team went 20-2, breaking 21 of 23 school records in the process.
Malgradi also played baseball collegiately while at Fresno State during the 1997 and 1998 seasons. However, his playing career was cut short due to extensive damage in his pitching shoulder.
“We had many quality candidates, but Kirsten and Jon rose to the top,” said Senior Associate Athletic Director/SWA Sonya Varnell. “Their softball knowledge and skills are fantastic. Their ability to recruit, motivate and communicate is wonderful. Their chemistry together and with the team was phenomenal, and they have proven to be winners, and most importantly, they can develop players. They will be an excellent addition to our Golden Eagle family, and I look forward to working with them.”
Voak and Malgradi were married in 2002 and will serve as co-head coaches while hiring a third assistant to complete their staff. Voak graduated from ASU in 2002 with a degree in Sociology while Malgradi earned his degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Sports Psychology in 2005, also from ASU. The couple has one child, a daughter, Gianna, who is 23 months old.
What They Are Saying about Kirsten Voak and Jon Malgradi:
Patrick Murphy, Head Softball Coach at Alabama
“As a player, Kirsten was one of the top pitchers in the nation that we faced at Alabama. She did an outstanding job at Arizona State as a coach, winning the WCWS, and she is an excellent role model for young women. Kirsten and Jon will do a great job for Southern Miss.”
Mike Candrea, Head Softball Coach at Arizona and former USA National Team Head Coach“I have known both for many years but have watched Kirsten as a player for her career at ASU and her development as a coach. Kirsten will bring tremendous energy, knowledge, and most importantly passion to Southern Miss Softball program. She will recruit with the best and develop athletes as players but most of all, give them the skills to be successful in life after softball. She brings tremendous experience at the highest levels of our game and knows what the process takes to be successful at the Division I level. ”
Ken Erickson, Head Softball Coach at South Florida and current USA National Team Head Coach
“Southern Miss just got very lucky to have Kirsten and Jon join their family. Southern Miss is getting quality family people that also have a wealth of knowledge in fast pitch softball. The future and current players need to realize that they will have a great collegiate experience with these two at the helm. ”
Stacy Iveson, Former Head Softball Coach at Yavapai College (2011 NJCAA National Champions) and current Assistant Softball Coach at Arizona
“Jon is a very good recruiter and teacher of the game. His teams at Mesa were always well prepared and competitive. Kirsten has a very positive outlook on life and the game. She relates well to her athletes and does an outstanding job of preparing pitchers. I know Jon and Kirsten will do a great job at Southern Miss.”
Posted by NFCA August 10
August 10, 2011
ARIZONA STATE – Named former Western New Mexico head coach and athletic director Scott Woodard to the coaching staff.
BOSTON COLLEGE – Named former Colgate head coach Ashley Obrest to the same position.
BRADLEY – Named former Louisiana-Lafayette assistant coach Chris Malveaux to the same position.
CAMPBELL – Promoted graduate assistant coach Nikki Prier to assistant coach and named former USC Upstate and current Akron Racers player Morgan Childers as graduate assistant/pitching coach. .
DAKOTA COUNTY TECHNICAL – Named former Macalester head coach Tom Cross to the same position.
DELTA STATE – Named former Connecticut player Julie Towers as graduate assistant coach.
EMMANUEL – Named former Simmons assistant coach Hannah Angel as head coach.
FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL – Named former Texas A&M-Corpus Christi head coach Jake Schumann to the same position.
GEORGIA COLLEGE – Named former Lynn assistant coach Brittney Bennett to the same position.
ILLINOIS STATE – Promoted long-time assistant coach Tina Kramos to associate head coach.
INDIANA – Named former Michigan volunteer assistant coach Becky Marx Keogh as assistant coach.
LAMAR – Named former Morehead State head coach Holly Bruder to the same position. In 2013, Lamar will field its first softball team since 1987.
LETOURNEAU – Promoted assistant coach Kate Bell to head coach and named former Ouachita Baptist assistant coach Mike Bell to the same position.
LINCOLN MEMORIAL – Named former Christian Brothers assistant coach Leila Dolfo to the same position.
LOUISIANA COLLEGE – Named former Alexandria Senior HS (La.) head coach Mark Rosier to the same position.
LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE – Named former St. Thomas More HS (La.) head coach Joy Webre-Leblanc as assistant coach.
LYNN – Named former Bethune-Cookman assistant coach Amy Bellisari as head coach.
MACALESTER – Named former Wisconsin-River Falls head coach Jody Gabriel to the same position.
MASSASOIT CC – Named Christine Semler as head coach.
MEMPHIS – Named former McNeese State head coach Natalie Poole to the same position.
SAMFORD – Named U.S. Women’s National Team member Ashley Holcombe Bell as assistant coach.
ST. AUGUSTINE’S – Named former Southern Durham HS (N.C.) softball, volleyball and women’s basketball head coach Lynikka Bynum as head coach of softball and volleyball.
ST. FRANCIS (PA) – Named former Seton Hill head coach Jennifer Patrick-Swift to the same position.
SETON HILL – Promoted assistant coach Samantha Hurst to interim head coach.
SOUTH CAROLINA STATE – Named Tonja Braxton, most recently head coach at Howard, to the same position.
SOUTH DAKOTA STATE – Named former San Diego assistant coach Kim Aggabao as head coach.
SOUTHERN ARKANSAS – Named former Paris Junior College head coach Corey Lyon to the same position.
SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI – Named Kirsten Voak, most recently an assistant coach at Arizona State, and former Mesa Community College head coach Jon Malgradi as co-head coaches.
TEXAS LUTHERAN – Named former Brenham HS (Texas) head coach Wade Wilson to the same position.
TEXAS-SAN ANTONIO – Announced it will retain Michelle Cheatham as assistant coach and named former Texas A&M player Megan Gibson as the other assistant.
UC DAVIS – Promoted volunteer assistant coach Jessi Gibson to assistant coach and named Venus Taylor as assistant coach.
VALPARAISO – Named former Italian Women’s National Team member Leslie Malerich as assistant coach and named former player KC Boldt as graduate assistant.
WICHITA STATE – Named former Winona State assistant coach Samantha Sheeley as pitching coach and former Oklahoma player and staff member Samantha Ricketts as assistant coach.
July 27, 2011
ALABAMA – Named former Samford head coach & Alabama player Stephanie VanBrakle as pitching coach.
ARIZONA – Named former UC Davis assistant coach & Arizona player Alicia Hollowell as Director of Operations.
COLGATE – Promoted interim head coach Ashley Obrest to head coach.
CULVER-STOCKTON – Named former player Aron Porter as head coach.
DELAWARE – Named former Charlotte player Tenaya Tucker as assistant coach.
FLAGLER – Named former player Sam Boatner as assistant coach.
FREDONIA STATE – Promoted assistant coach Nicole Loudin to head coach.
ILLINOIS-CHICAGO – Named former Central Michigan assistant coach Sami Baugh to the same position.
INDIANA STATE – Named former Iowa Lakes CC head coach Shane Bouman to the same position.
JACKSONVILLE – Promoted assistant coach Ali Higgs to head coach.
MCNEESE SATE – Promoted student assistant Heather Mosser to assistant coach.
MONTANA STATE-BILLINGS – Promoted interim head coach Lisa Allen to head coach.
NORTH CAROLINA CENTAL – Named former Campbell assistant coach Theresa Stephens as head coach.
PRESBYTERIAN – Named former James Madison assistant Kama Tucker as head coach.
RENSSELAER – Promoted interim head coach Amber Maisonet to head coach.
SAMFORD – Promoted assistant coach Mandy Burford to head coach.
ST. EDWARD’S – Named former US Women’s National Team members Lindsay Gardner and Cat Osterman as head coach and assistant coach, respectively.
ST. JOHN’S (NY) – Named former Florida State assistant coach Tommy Santiago to the same position.
UNLV – Promoted volunteer assistant coach Kendall Fearn to assistant coach.
UTAH – Named former UNLV assistant coach Maggie Livreri to the same position.
WISCONSIN-STEVENS POINT – Named former Dakota County Technical College head coach Jill Millis to the same position.
WESTFIELD STATE – Named former head coach of The Sage Colleges Lindsay Sawyer to the same position.