ARLINGTON, Texas – Described as the spark plug of the staff, UTA softball assistant coach Megan Coronado knew deep down that she'd eventually find herself in coaching.
A graduate of DePaul University, Coronado's transition into coaching didn't happen right away, even if inside she knew there was a chance she'd follow the 'family business' of the sport. With her dad serving as a coach, her sister serving as a coach, it was only a matter of time before she would do so as well.
"Since I was little, I was a student of the game," Coronado said. "I can't watch a baseball game with someone that doesn’t know anything about baseball. Because of an injury in college, I had a bit of a love and hate relationship with the game and thought I needed to take a break between playing and coaching so I went corporate first, I wanted to make sure it was my choice and if it was my true calling or not."
While working with the Chicago White Sox, Coronado felt it wasn't close enough to the game. It took Texas State assistant Cat Osterman to guide her finally in. Osterman, a three-time USA Softball National Player of the Year pitcher for the University of Texas, coached Coronado briefly at DePaul before she made her way to San Marcos, Texas.
It just so happened that DePaul and Texas State would meet on the field and an invite would bring Coronado into the Bobcats program as an assistant coach.
As UTA softball named its new coach, former Texas State assistant Peejay Brun, the ball started to roll into Coronado's court for a drive up I-35 to become a Maverick.
"After being so sure about Charlotte Morgan, I knew so much about what I needed for the other position," Brun said. " In the end, they were all good. But honestly there was something about Megan. When you know somebody for so long you know both the good and the bad. The pieces just fell together when the three of us were together. That is what stood out the most. When the three of us were together even during the interview process it just clicked."
Arriving on campus, Coronado set out to bring what she had learned along the way to the UTA program. That emphasis was on family.
"What I brought from DePaul was the family atmosphere, (the DePaul head coach) is well connected with the girls and he makes sure that everyone is connected," Coronado said. "He is family oriented and that is what drew me there. That was my favorite thing and I wanted to take that anywhere that I went."
That connection of family is easily seen in the softball clubhouse. Any hints of silence are usually quieted with a student-athlete running in and out of the office to tell the coaching staff about their day, to work on that day’s practice or to just have a conversation in general. That aspect is something that Coronado said is very important in helping build the connection of trust.
"Last year I took notes of how I would pull in what I know, to what PeeJay and the coaching staff was doing," Coronado said. "What she did was let the girls trust her and connect. I wanted to incorporate that and knew that is the type of person that I was. I want to do anything that I can to help them succeed. I am going to be the most hard-working coach to help you get there, both on and off the field."
Studying UTA as a rival coach, Coronado has been able to see both sides of the dugout of what it means to be a Maverick. The team reached the postseason for the first time since 2003 as it was invited to the National Invitation Softball Championship last year as well as made a semifinal appearance in the Sun Belt Championship.
"You could see the grit when we played," Coronado said. "The whole season they had huge wins. It was fun to watch as a bystander. To see they have the components it takes to put it together, we are now the coaching staff that is trying to keep it going. There is talent here and girls that surprise themselves with what they can even do. It's just a matter of keeping them on track.
HOW TO BUY TICKETS
Full season and single-game tickets to attend UTA baseball and softball events will be on sale on Friday, Dec. 8 through the UTA Box Office in person or by calling (817) 272-8585 and online throughUTATickets.com. Season tickets are available for as low as $75 for softball and $75 for baseball. Single-game tickets begin at $6, while tickets for Feb. 27th’s date vs. TCU and April 24 vs. OU begin at $10. Tickets for UTA’s matchup against Baylor at Globe Life Park on March 6 are $12. UTA students and faculty staff tickets are available for just $5 for a single game or at a reduced rate for season tickets. Visit UTATickets.com for detailed information.
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For up-to-date news, photos, videos and updates you can follow UTA sports program online at UTAMavs.com or via any of several social media accounts on Twitter @UTAMavs, Instagram @UTAMavs, Snapchat @UTAMavs and Facebook at UTArlingtonAthletics.
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