A&M Assistant To Lead Softball Program

STILLWATER, Okla. (http://www.okstate.com) — Oklahoma State University Athletic Director Mike Holder announced Friday he has named Rich Wieligman as the school's new head softball coach. The action is pending approval by the OSU Board of Regents. Wieligman becomes just the third softball coach to lead the Cowgirls since they began NCAA competition in 1982.

"We are excited to bring Rich Wieligman to Oklahoma State," Associate Athletic Director Amy Weeks said. "Rich is a fantastic coach and we feel he is capable of leading Oklahoma State to the World Series and help build the foundation that was laid in the past."

"It is a great opportunity for me," Wieligman said. "I am excited to be there and be a part of the Oklahoma State family. We are looking to do good things and bring a winner back to the Cowgirl softball program.

"It is hard to leave Texas A&M and move my family. But we are excited about coming to Stillwater, and I am looking forward to the challenges and obstacles I have ahead of me."

Wieligman comes from Texas A&M where he has served the past four years as an assistant to Jo Evans. The Aggies became an offensive juggernaut under Wieligman slugging a program best 55 home runs in 2003, his first year at A&M, and leading the Aggies to a nation-leading .336 team batting average in 2005.

The Aggies participated in NCAA regionals all four years Wieligman coached at Texas A&M, including a 47-10 season in 2005 and a berth in the NCAA Super Regional against Alabama.

Before moving to A&M, Wieligman served as an assistant under Bobby Reeves at Texas Tech. Wieligman is responsible for the Red Raiders last appearance in an NCAA Regional in 2001 when they went 37-24.

Prior to his stint at Texas Tech. Wieligman spent two years at Baylor under coach Paula Young. The Bears went 30-25 in 1999 followed by a 27-30 season in 2000.

The Kansas City, Mo., native graduated from Lubbock Christian University in 1985. Wieligman played on the Chaparrals 1983 national championship team and was selected as an All-American in 1984. He still sits sixth all-time at Lubbock Christian with a career batting average of .379.

He was signed as a free agent by the Philadelphia Phillies and spent four years playing in the Detroit Tigers organization.

Wieligman played a year in Japan before returning to the United States to begin his coaching career. He was an assistant at his alma mater and helped coach Lubbock Christian to a berth in the NAIA World Series in 1991.

Wieligman has gained valuable experience playing fast pitch softball as well as coaching it. He was a member of the two-time national champion DR Engine out of Odessa, Texas, winning titles in 1995 and 1997. He was named the MVP of the 1995 ASA National Tournament and earned ASA All-America honors as well.

He has also served as the head baseball coach at Lubbock Christian High School and the head softball coach at Midland High School.

Wieligman met his wife Jill Hodge in Lubbock, Texas, and the couple has two children, Ashby (14) and Ryan (9).

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