On Thursday, July 25, head softball coach Ashley Balazs announced the hiring of Jen Daro as the new assistant softball coach.
Daro received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Creighton University in May of 2017. She continued her education at St. Cloud State University and earned a master’s degree in higher education and leadership this past May.
Daro served as a graduate assistant for St. Cloud State University in Minnesota for the previous two seasons. This past season, the Huskies posted a 43-18 record and qualified for the NCAA Division–II National Tournament.
“It is definitely warmer for starters,” Daro said. “But it has been a nice change so far. I have only been here for, I want to say, like two weeks now so I am still kind of getting used to town. So far what I have liked is I really like the sense of community that Pittsburg provides. I think there is a lot of support that the community brings into the athletics (department) and I think that is really neat to see and that is something you don’t find every day.”
According to Daro, the “tradition of excellence” in the Pittsburg State athletics department drew her to the coaching position.
“I think just the tradition of excellence that Pitt State athletics provides,” Daro said. “I think that is something that, as coach, that you really want to look for. I think that Pitt State’s been doing a really good job of providing the different teams (with) things that they need. For example, the softball team just got the new turf field, they got new locker rooms, (and) new batting cages so I think that’s something that when you are looking for a coaching position that you want to look for is how they help fund the program and I think that’s something that Pitt State’s done really well.”
Daro played softball during her time as a student at Creighton University. She ended her softball career with a .236 batting average, 69 runs scored, 15 doubles, 21 home runs and 76 RBIs.
“I think I’ve been around the game of softball for as long as I can remember and so it’s something that I really care about,” Daro said. “I wasn’t quite ready to leave the field yet, so I think that kind of motivated me to be a coach and the game itself has given me a lot of opportunities. So, to be able to coach young women and be able to provide them the same opportunities that I was provided (with) is something that kind of drew me to coaching as well.”
Daro is excited to join the Gorillas and participate in the MIAA conference this season.
“I am just really excited,” Daro said. “I know the MIAA conference is a really tough one so to be able to coach in one of the best conferences at the Division–II level is just something I am looking forward to.”