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July 22, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. - The Penn State softball program has found its new leader in veteran head coach Amanda Lehotak, Director of Athletics Dr. David Joyner announced today. Lehotak comes to Penn State with seven years of head coaching experience under her belt, including the last two seasons at Texas-San Antonio.
"We are looking to forward to having Amanda lead our softball program," Joyner commented. "She represents all of the core values that we look for in a coach at Penn State and she presented a very strong and clear vision of how she plans to run and strengthen the softball program. She will be a great addition to our Penn State coaching family."
"First and foremost, I would like to thank Dr. Joyner and (Associate Athletics Director) Charmelle Green for this incredible opportunity," Lehotak said. "They certainly have a great vision of what Penn State softball can be and it certainly matches what I believe this program can become nationally. I would also like to thank the search committee for doing their due diligence during the search process and for showing what a great community there is at Penn State.
"I am beyond thrilled to join this University that has not only elite academics, but also an outstanding tradition of athletics," Lehotak continued. "I am so humbled that I have been chosen to take over this program with so much potential. I am excited to get to Penn State and get to work and make Nittany Lion softball a contender both in the Big Ten and on a national level."
Lehotak guided the Roadrunners to a 27-26 overall record this past season to give the program just their second winning overall record in the last seven years. She also led the team to a fifth-place finish and a berth in the WAC Tournament in UTSA's first season in the conference. Additionally, Darian Blake was named to the All-WAC first team. In her first season at UTSA, Lehotak and the Roadrunners posted a 24-28 overall record and 12-8 mark in Southland Conference play en route to a third-place finish, which was the program's highest finish since 2009. She had five players earn All-Southland honors in 2012, including Freshman of the Year Megan Low.
Prior to her time at UTSA, Lehotak spent six seasons at Jacksonville University, including five as the head coach. The Dolphins improved their win total each of Lehotak's five seasons at the helm, culminating in a 44-16 overall record and 18-2 conference mark in 2011. That season, Jacksonville won the Atlantic Sun regular-season and tournament titles on its way to the first NCAA Tournament appearance in school history. Lehotak was selected as the 2011 Atlantic Sun Coach of the Year as her squad set school records for home runs, earned run average, shutouts and fielding percentage. Lehotak left Jacksonville with a school-record 137 wins.
Lehotak owns a 188-206 record in seven seasons as a collegiate head coach at UTSA and Jacksonville. In addition to her one season as an assistant coach at Jacksonville, Lehotak was also an assistant coach at Missouri Western State for one season where she was responsible for recruiting, working with the outfielders, hitting instruction, coordinating camps and clinics, as well as managing the team's travel schedule. She also served as an assistant coach at Daniel J. Gross High School in Bellevue, Neb. And was an interim assistant coach at College of Saint Mary in Omaha (2004).
A native of Omaha, Neb., Lehotak played collegiately at the University of Mississippi for two seasons (2000-01) before finishing her career at Nebraska-Omaha (2002-03). She set the single-season hits record in 2001 at Ole Miss and was a third team All-American at UNO with a pair of first team All-North Central Conference selections. Lehotak earned her bachelor's degree in family science from Nebraska-Omaha in 2003.