Garza returns home to lead Bulldog SoftballGarza looks to add to the program's rich history with passion and intensity as she becomes the fourth head softball coach at Fresno State Read More
Fresno native Linda Garza completed her second season as head coach of the Fresno State softball program in 2018. Garza became the Fresno State softball program’s fourth head coach in its storied history in July of 2016.
In her second season leading the program, Garza guided the Bulldogs to their 37th consecutive 30-win season and a winning record for the 41st straight year since the program’s inception. The team finished with a 31-23 overall record and a 14-10 mark in the Mountain West despite losing four starting position players and the reigning MW Pitcher of the Year from the 2017 squad. The Bulldogs finished in third place in the Mountain West, extending the program’s run of 26 consecutive top-three conference finishes.
In 2018 Garza led the ‘Dogs to a 10-game winning streak, the longest since a program-record 23 straight wins in 2016, and had the team earn votes in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches’ Poll in three different weeks. Bulldog hitters shattered program and Mountain West records with 71 hit-by-pitches in 2018, the second highest total in NCAA Div. I, and drew a program-record 213 walks as the team ranked fifth in all of NCAA Div. I with a .410 season on-base percentage.
Jodie Cox wrapped up her second year as a Fresno State assistant softball coach and the primary pitching instructor under head coach Linda Garza in 2018.
After losing the reigning MW Pitcher of the Year following the 2017 season, Cox mentored the ‘Dogs young pitching staff to success in 2018. She helped the team finish 31-23 overall and 14-10 in the Mountain West, marking the program’s 37th consecutive 30-win season. Cox led both of the team’s top two pitchers to All-MW honors, as freshman Danielle East was named to the first team and sophomore Samantha Mejia made the second team.
Cox guided East to a historic first year leading the Bulldog pitching staff as she led the Mountain West with 97 strikeouts in league games while breaking the Mountain West record for strikeouts by a freshman in conference play. East’s 2.87 ERA in MW games was second best among all starting pitchers while her nine conference wins were third most in the league. She had 17 total wins on the year with a solid 3.34 ERA and 155 strikeouts.
Todd Bradley joined the Fresno State softball coaching staff in August 2018.
An offensive-minded coach, Bradley spent the last four years as the head coach at NCAA Div. I Campbell University in Buies Creek, N.C. and has 18 total years of coaching experience, including 15 years as a head coach.
“This is a great time to be a Bulldog as our team returns talent and experience on the offensive side,” Garza said. “Hiring for this position was critical and I’m excited Coach Bradley has joined our program. He brings a wealth of experience to our program, with a specific passion for offense and recruiting. Coach Bradley has led an offense most of his career and his teams have ranked nationally in power and run production. Todd shares my passion for Bulldog Softball and developing Student-Athletes on and off the field. I’m looking forward to working alongside Coach Bradley and see him implement his offensive approach to help our program compete for a Mountain West Championship.”
Volunteer Assistant Coach
Denise Rich begins her first year as a volunteer assistant coach for the 2019 season. She will serve as the first-base coach.
“I’m excited and eager to work with Coach Rich this season; she brings good insight and thinks outside the box,” head coach Linda Garza said. “Coach Rich will assist Coach Bradley with offensive player development, help with day-to-day operations, and assist with game and practice video analysis. She is a softball pioneer to this community, staying connected in many ways and working to positively influence young adults. She’s a Bulldog herself and understands the rich history of Fresno State.”
Rich has been involved in coaching since 1989 when she joined the Clovis High staff as an assistant. She had stops at Fresno High and Hoover, where Coach Linda Garza played two seasons while Rich was an assistant. Later she served two years as Hoover’s varsity head coach and for the past 15 years she’s been head coach at Washington Union High. Her 2010 team won a CIF Central Section championship. That team included her daughter, Tori, who went on to play at McNeese State.