Softball coach quietly makes her way into Wildcat history


Head coach Angel Shamblin looks into the dugout at her team before an inning against Cal State Dominguez Hills. Photo credit: Nick Martinez-Esquibel

Jason Spies

Calm, collected, very quiet and soft-spoken.

When you hear these descriptions, it might come as a shock to find out they are about a collegiate head coach. For Chico State head softball coach Angel Shamblin, this type of coaching style is who she is and has been more than effective in her seven years at Chico State.

“It’s very important to be yourself,” Shamblin said. “There are times when I have to step out of my quiet personality and be somebody different because the team needs that.”

Actions speak louder than words, and in Shamblin’s case, her actions are shouting her success as she recently became the third coach in Chico State history to win 200 games.

“We’ve been fortunate to have some great assistant coaches come through and some great student athletes play here that have definitely earned those wins,” Shamblin said. “It’s been a privilege for me just to work with such great people and accomplish all that we have.”

Head coach Angel Shamblin looks on from the dugout in a game against Cal State Dominguez Hills with assistant coach Kacee Cox. Photo credit: Nick Martinez-Esquibel

One of those assistant coaches, Kacee Cox, has been under Shamblin for two years now, and the two complement each other perfectly.

“I think we complement each other pretty well because we have a lot of the same thinking styles,” Cox said. “She has one way of coaching and I have another, but at the end of the day it all comes together as the same message to the players.”

Another thing Shamblin has done is create a culture. Doing so has taken time and patience.

“It’s not necessarily the hardest thing but it takes time to build a team and build a culture,” Shamblin said. “Patience and understanding that it’s not going to happen overnight, and it’s not going to happen in one year, or two years or three years, as far as the culture part of it.”

Head coach Angel Shamblin talks strategy with senior pitcher Cheyenne Sandoval before an inning. Photo credit: Nick Martinez-Esquibel

Senior outfielder Alli Cook believes this is one of the reasons that her teams are so successful.

“The culture that she has built here has led her to be successful, and I’ve learned a lot in my four years playing for her,” Cook said.

Cook said if she had to use one word to describe Shamblin it would be “determined.”

In her seven years as head coach, Shamblin has led the Wildcats to three 30-win seasons and four trips to the NCAA Championship Tournament. In her first year as head coach, she led the Wildcats to a 33-21 record which was a 14 win improvement, and they were one win shy of making the NCAA Division II College World Series.

Shamblin has created a successful environment that is built around culture, and it has infiltrated every aspect of the team.

“If you don’t have good morals as a team, of what’s really important and what makes a team tick,” Cox said, “then you’re not going to be very successful.”

Jason Spies can be reached at [email protected] or @Jason_Spies on Twitter.