COLUMBIA, Mo. - University of Missouri assistant softball coach Gina Fogue will serve as the program's Interim Head Coach for the 2018 season, Mizzou Director of Athletics Jim Sterk announced Monday.
"Gina has had a tremendous amount of responsibility with practice and game management decisions over the past four seasons which have greatly contributed to Mizzou's success, and we believe it was in the best interest of our student-athletes to have her serve as our Interim Head Coach for the upcoming season," Sterk said. "As a Mizzou alum, who played on a pair of Women's College World Series teams during her career, she loves Mizzou and has proven to be a fierce competitor."
"More importantly, she has earned the trust and respect of our student-athletes, which is critical when making an important decision such as this," he added. "We believe that she is the right coach at the right time to lead the Tigers into the 2018 season."
A member of the Mizzou softball staff since 2011, Fogue served two seasons as the program's Director of Operations until being promoted into an on-field coaching position on July 8, 2013, where she has coached the Tiger outfielders and served as the team's base-runners coach. In four seasons as an assistant coach, the Tigers reached the NCAA Tournament each year and advanced to a pair of NCAA Super Regionals.
"I would like to thank Jim Sterk and Brian Brown for entrusting me with this great group of women," Fogue said. "Naturally, this isn't the scenario in which you envision taking over as head coach, but I'm grateful for the opportunity to do anything I can to help this team move forward with a successful season. I've learned a tremendous amount under Coach Earleywine in my time here at Mizzou, and I look forward to building on this program's proud tradition."
"Since coming to campus 12 years ago, Mizzou has been the place that I call home," she added. "I'm a proud alum of this program and want to help our long-standing success continue. I'm here to support our young ladies, and am encouraged and excited by the talent and chemistry our team has as we go forward into the 2018 season."
As a former Tiger standout, Fogue may best be remembered for her walk-off home run that ended Mizzou's game three win of the 2009 NCAA Super Regional at No. 1-seeded UCLA, 9-1, to reach the NCAA Women's College World Series. The long ball to down the Bruins was part of a strong senior season. Fogue enjoyed her best season as a Tiger that year, hitting .321 with eight home runs, 32 RBI and a .599 slugging percentage.
Versatility was Fogue's strong suit throughout her Black & Gold career, as she saw playing time at third base, second base, shortstop and in the outfield. She was an equally productive hitter and scorer with 87 hits and runs in her career.
Fogue finished her Mizzou career as a three-time First-Team Academic All-Big 12 selection. She graduated from the University of Missouri in 2010 with a degree in graphic design and a minor in business.
Second-year Assistant Coach Adam LaLonde will continue in his role in 2018 with an interim assistant coach expected to be named soon.
Missouri opens the 2018 season Feb. 8 at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz., against San Jose State.