By Alexis Shelton, GoPSUsports.com Student Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa--- Six years ago, Megan Gibson graduated as a student-athlete from Texas A&M. Today, she is the pitching coach for the softball team at Penn State. Now, Gibson was inducted into the Texas A & M Athletic Hall of Fame.
Gibson learned about her honor in a laughable way.
"I got a phone call from one of our alumni, who I believe is in the Hall of Fame already. She called me and left a message kind of in a panicking voice saying she needed to talk to me. It made me nervous. I called her back and she told me I was being inducted and I was just like, what? It was a comical situation, we laughed for quite a bit."
Becoming a successful coach wasn't easy for Gibson. There were a lot of challenges that she faced in her four years with the Aggies.
"There was so much that happened, said Gibson. "There were a lot of firsts. My freshman year we won the Big 12 Championship, which was the first time that ever happened. My sophomore year was a very difficult year, we overcame a lot and it was a lot of learning so that was our transitioning year. But, my junior year we made our first run at the World College World Series, and my senior year was just a great one."
Gibson has quite the history under her name, during her 2008 season, she was a National Player of the Week, and later that year went on to become the first Big 12 player to be named both Big 12 Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year.
She also led her team to win the program's second Big 12 regular season championships as well as making it to the final series of the Women's College World Series.
Two years later, she met with current Penn State head coach Amanda Lehotak at the University of Texas-San Antonio as an assistant coach before the duo made the transition to Penn State in 2012.
And, Lehotak couldn't be happier to have her on board at Penn State.
"Megan brings a lot of strength to our team because honestly, she is just a wealth of knowledge," said Lehotak. "She was an All-American because she was one of the best hitters of our game."
"First base, outfield, pitcher. She's one of the few athletes that can teach hitting, she can teach pitching, and she can teach defense," she said. She just brings that championship mentality, she knows what it takes and how hard it is to get there. She's very universal."
Gibson's decision to coach was one that changed her life.
"I stayed on for my fifth-year at A&M for a semester," said Gibson. I had started grad school. I was really unsure of what I wanted to do. My mom actually suggested to me that I should be a coach."
"While I was there, I figured I'd help out with the team in my free time and there was this one girl that they asked me to help out with this one pitch. I remember when she got her first hit she came into the bullpen and was so excited. That was truly an amazing feeling."
After that, she went to play in a Japanese league for four years before coming back. She went back to Tesas A&M for a short period of time as the pitching coach before meeting Lehotak.
"She was wise beyond her years," Lehotak said. "I remember after first talking to her on the phone. I was praying that she would come coach with me," she added.
When asked what it's like coaching with her, Lehotak said, "I think we've become family. We've become a good tandem because we're similar but different. We're similar because we understand the difference between business versus personal. We're very good at keeping those two separate."
Lehotak also commented on how the two balance each other out.
"I'm kind of out-going and quick to react," said Lehotak. "She's more analytical and likes to sit back and relax. We're a good balance, she can come in the next day and tell me when I was a little too much. I think we work well together, we have great respect for one another."
Gibson was officially inducted into the Texas A&M Athletic Hall of Fame on October 31, 2014.