BLACKSBURG (hokiesports.com) - The Virginia Tech Athletics Department and head softball coach Scot Thomas Tuesday announced the hiring of former national player of the year and Virginia Tech alumnae Angela Tincher O’Brien as the Hokies’ new assistant coach. She replaces Barb Sherwood, who was named the head coach at Portland State University on Aug. 7. Tincher O’Brien will begin her duties with Tech on Sept. 2.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am to get back to Blacksburg and work with the program that helped make me who I am today,” Tincher O’Brien said. “After playing for them, I now look forward to working with Coach Thomas and Coach Brauns, as we continue to make this program into a national contender. Coach Sherwood has left behind a talented staff and I look forward to picking up where she left off.”
A former USA Softball Player of the Year, a three-time All-American and a three-time ACC Player of the Year, Tincher O’Brien is a 2008 graduate of Virginia Tech and led the Hokies to their first College World Series appearance in 2008. During her senior season, she recorded a no-hitter against the USA Olympic Softball team, which ended Team USA’s 185-game pre-Olympic win streak and was a recipient of the Lowe’s Senior Class award at the end of the season. She was also a three-time Academic All-American and winner of a NCAA Top XIII post-graduate scholarship after graduating with a 3.84 GPA in finance from the prestigious Pamplin School of Business.
While pitching for the Hokies, the Eagle Rock, Va., native went 123-35 over four years with a 0.78 ERA and 2,149 strikeouts - the third most in NCAA history of softball at any level. She is one of only two players in NCAA history to record 600 or more strikeouts in two different seasons and she led the nation in ERA her junior and senior years. Tincher also led the nation in strikeouts her final year and tossed 14 solo no-hitters, including two perfect games, in NCAA competition while compiling 120 double-digit strikeout games for her career, including 42 of 16 or more.
Upon graduation, she was drafted in the first round by the National Pro Fastpitch’s Akron Racers where she played for two seasons. She also played for Leopalace 21 of the Japan Professional League for a season.
After her playing career concluded, she spent a season as the assistant coach at Syracuse University, mentoring a pitching unit that helped lead the Orange to a Big East title in 2010 and automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament. She also spent one year as the pitching coach at the University of Maryland, helping the Terps to an NCAA bid in 2011.
Taking a break from coaching, Tincher O’Brien spent a year as a program manager for Insignia Athletics as the head of fastpitch softball glove sales and development and has spent time as a color analyst for the USSSA Pride (NPF) and ESPN3 broadcast teams. She also founded an instructional business that trains pitchers, both mentally and physically, and served as a volunteer pitching coach at Daytona State Community College for two seasons while living in Orlando, Fla.
“It is with great pleasure that I can announce Angela Tincher O’Brien as our new assistant coach,” Thomas said. “Besides the fact that Angela is one the most-decorated athletes in Virginia Tech softball and Tech sports history is exciting for both me and our student-athletes, but her genuine desire to return to Blacksburg is what makes it a very special hire for me.
“What an tremendous opportunity for our pitching staff to work with one of the all-time greats in the history of college softball and one that is just as bought into wearing the maroon and orange as they are as a player at Virginia Tech!”
Tincher O’Brien is married to former Virginia Tech baseball player Sean O’Brien.
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