By Dylan Head
Allison Grant — Four Time Western State Conference Coach of the Year and full time Cuesta College professor — has returned to coach Women’s Softball for this season.
No stranger to the softball field, Grant previously coached Cougars softball from 1994 to 2006, leading teams to four Western State Conference titles for an overall record of 309-218-2. Even though she walked away from coaching to raise her two sons, Grant still has a strong connection with softball.
As a collegiate athlete, Grant led her UC Davis Aggies softball team to national rankings from 1988 to 1992. She was batting leader in 1990 and 1992, with a career average of .354 and 34 stolen bases, and was named to the All-Northern California Athletic Conference First Team twice.
Grant’s coaching career began as an assistant coach for Stanford University softball, and has coached for the International Softball Federation in the Czech Republic and in the Men’s European Fastpitch Championships.
“The game,” Grant said, “is part of the fabric of my life.”
Grant stressed that, rather than winning, her goal is to provide a collegiate-level experience for her players. She said that a major part of her coaching philosophy is to see that players leave her field better than they were before, succeeding academically, and that they be motivated to give back to the sport.
Grant attributed her success at the college and national level not only to her love of the game, but to her no-holds-barred approach to coaching.
Grant sets a high bar. Players under Grant’s coaching are pushed to become the best athletes they can be. she emphasises that she cares deeply about her players, but is aware that she is tough.
“I don’t know how to coach other than being all in”, Grant said, “and if you raise the bar, athletes will meet it.”
She further explained that having the right players is also imperative to succeeding on the field. Grant said that some of her best coaching was knowing when to get out of the way and letting the athletes perform.
“The right attitude, coupled with good skills and a touch of coaching”, Grant concluded, “creates success.”