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UC Santa Barbara Hires Jo Evans as Head Coach

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Jo Evans is back in the head coaching game. The former Texas A&M head coach was hired as the new head coach at UC Santa Barbara.

UCSB interim athletics director Kelly Barsky made the announcement Thursday.

Evans replaces Brie Galicinao, who was let go after 16 seasons at the helm. The Gauchos finished 15-39 in 2022, including 6-21 in the Big West Conference.

“I am beyond excited that Jo has accepted our offer to join the Gaucho family,” Barsky said. “She is a truly exceptional coach with a demonstrated commitment to the student-athlete experience, service-oriented leadership and extraordinary success on the field.  This is an exciting time for Gaucho Softball.”

In May, Texas A&M announced it wasn’t renewing Evans’ contract after 27 seasons in charge of the program. During her tenure, the Hall of Fame coach led the Aggies to the NCAA postseason 22 times, with three trips to the Women’s College World Series and seven trips to the NCAA Super Regionals. She had an overall record of 987-504-2 (.662 winning percentage) with the Aggies.

Evans coached 23 All-Americans, 62 All-Region selections and 91 All-Conference honorees at A&M. Four of her players were named Big 12 Player of the Year, three were named Big 12 Pitcher of the Year and two were named Big 12 Freshman of the Year.

“I’m excited to be the head softball coach at Santa Barbara,” Evans said. “I want to thank Athletics Director, Kelly Barsky, for giving me the opportunity to help grow the softball program. I’m most excited to meet my players and get to know them and their families. UCSB is one of the most outstanding public institutions in the country, and I know we will be able to draw great students who are also great softball players. Living in Santa Barbara is a dream come true, and I’m looking forward to building great relationships with the community and growing the sport in our area. I can’t wait to get started.”

Prior to her time in College Station, Evans was the head coach at her alma mater Utah, leading the Utes to the Women’s College World Series in just her second season with the program. She made history with her 1994 team, as the Utes had their highest finish at the WCWS (fifth), received its best national ranking (seventh in the Coaches’ poll) and earned the highest win percentage in program history (.797).

After spending time as an assistant at Florida State, Evans started her head coaching career at Colorado State. She led the Rams to a co-conference championship and was named High Country Athletic Conference Coach of the Year.

Evans was inducted into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame in 2015. She’ll enter her UCSB coaching tenure with 1,300 wins, 714 losses and two ties. Evans ranks 11th in the NCAA for total career wins.