(Story courtesy of University of St. Thomas athletics)
HOUSTON, Texas – The University of St. Thomas will field a varsity softball team for the first time in 2021, and already has a head coach that will begin building the program.
UST athletic director Todd Smith announced Tuesday that Angela Froboese was hired as the first head coach for Celts softball. A native of Katy, Texas, Froboese has coached 15 seasons at the NCAA Division III level, including the past 11 seasons at Southwestern University, a member of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC).
St. Thomas begins its transition into the NCAA's Division III during the 2019-20 academic year and will compete in the SCAC.
"The growth of the athletic department has been exciting, and to add softball to UST athletics was the natural next step," Smith said. "To have Coach Froboese show interest and want the job made it a pretty easy decision for us. We were lucky to get her."
Building a softball program from the ground up is not a new task for Froboese, as she was hired to start Southwestern's softball program which began play in 2009. In her 11 seasons at the Georgetown, Texas campus, Froboese compiled a 270-174-1 record, and led the Pirates to two SCAC tournament championships and two NCAA Regional Tournament appearances.
In 2019, Froboese and Southwestern compiled a 35-6 record, the best mark in team history. The Pirates finished second in the SCAC to eventual national champion Texas Lutheran.
"To have an established coach who has won on the field, has recruited successful student-athletes that have graduated at a high-rate and have performed at a high-rate in the classroom made this a very easy hire," Smith said of Froboese. "She's going to be a great addition."
Froboese began her head coaching at Howard Payne University, a Division III program in Brownwood, Texas. She earned her bachelor's degree (kinesiology) and master's degree (educational leadership) from Stephen F. Austin State University, where she played Division I-level softball for 4 seasons.
"I really want to thank the administration here and the fellow coaches who met with me," Froboese said. I've already seen that the athletic department has such a supportive coaching staff. I'm ecstatic about being here and am counting down the days until I get on the road to start recruiting."
Froboese led Southwestern to a 19-16 record during the team's inaugural season in 2009. In 2010, she guided the Pirates to the first of their two tournament championships during her tenure; Southwestern went 33-13 during that second season.
"People always tell you that you're not going to win as a first-year program, I personally like to say, 'Well, we're going to,'" Froboese said. "The goal for all of my athletes will be a diploma in one hand and a championship ring on the other. One's not higher than the other. They're both equal, because someone who is aiming for both is aiming to be great at what they do in all aspects of their life. That's who I'm looking to bring in here, and that's what I'm excited about."