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The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Woodard further establishes legacy with 800 career wins

Mandalyn Lewallen
Texas State softball Head Coach Ricci Woodard during the Texas Tech game, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024, at Bobcat Softball Stadium.

In her 24 years of coaching Bobcat softball, Head Coach Ricci Woodard has not only proven her ability to win but also to mentor young women preparing to enter the real world successfully.

On Feb. 9, Woodard achieved her 800th career win in Texas State’s 3-1 victory against Kennesaw State University, making her overall record 800-487-2. In doing so, Woodard became the 13th softball head coach of all time to reach the attainment for one program.

“You know, [milestones are] always nice because you get to recognize the people that you do this with,” Woodard said. “I’ve gone through a lot of assistance and a lot of players in the 24 years that I’ve gotten to do this. So, there’s a lot of different people that contribute to all those wins.”

Senior outfielder Piper Randolph said Woodard’s demeanor and passion for the softball program can make her seem harsh at times, but this passion is instrumental in the team’s success.

“Out of all the sports, she was definitely known for strictly business,” Randolph said. “But in a good way… That’s what you have to do to be able to succeed.”

According to senior pitcher Jessica Mullins, who started in Woodard’s 800th win, Woodard has been far more than just a coach to her since she became a Bobcat. Mullins said no matter the problems she’s had, she could rely on Woodard for support.

“Every college student-athlete has their trials and tribulations, but I have truly appreciated how she has always had my back no matter what situation I brought to her, no matter what problem I may have had,” Mullins said. “I consider her to be like another mom to me and she’s helped me truly blossom into the woman that I want to be.”

By building a strong support system within the program and a team that performs year after year, Woodard has established herself as a San Marcos icon and built a like-minded group in the softball team. Randolph said Woodard remains objective, and her unyielding coaching philosophies help the team remain consistent.

“She always focuses on ‘You get what you put into it,’ and that applies in every aspect of life,” Randolph said. “She’s a big believer in that and she instills that in us every single day at practice.”

As the quarter-century mark approaches for Woodard, she said as she looks back on her time at Texas State, there isn’t a moment where she felt any less eager to accomplish her work on or off the field.

Though every new season brings butterflies in its coming, Woodard’s passion for Bobcat softball hasn’t done anything but grow into a deep love and appreciation.

“I haven’t found anything else I want to do,” Woodard said. “That’s why I keep telling people, ‘Someday I’m going to grow up and have a real job.’ It’s something I still enjoy… coming to the ball field every day and getting to work with 18 to 22-year-old females, watching them develop into young women. You know, it just doesn’t get any better than that in my opinion.”

In the way of college softball coaches, it may not get any better for Bobcat Nation, either. Woodard has established herself as more than just the coach of Texas State softball. She is the heart and hopes to continue her success this season.

For more information on Texas State softball’s schedule, standings and other news, visit https://txst.com/sports/softball.

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