SANTA CLARA, Calif. – A standout collegiate player with coaching stints in the Pac-10 and West Coast Conference, Gina Carbonatto has been named Santa Clara Softball head coach.
Carbonatto, the 13th head coach in school history who replaces Lisa Dodd, spent the last three years as an assistant at UC Davis after spending two years in her second stint at her alma mater, Pacific.
"I'm extremely honored to represent this program and Santa Clara University," said the former Washington assistant. "I've lived in Northern California for 13 years and I've always respected and admired the high standard for academics at the university. I'm excited to get started and help shape the lives of these young women on and off the field."
During her three years with the Aggies, Carbonatto helped the team receive 18 All-Big West honors. She also helped pitcher Brooke Yanez nab back-to-back all-region selections (2018-19) and a 2019 Second Team Softball America All-America nod.
Davis won 89 games during Carbonatto's tenure, improving each season, capped with 39 this past year.
"We are thrilled to have Gina join the Bronco family," Santa Clara director of athletics Renee Baumgartner said. "Her experience as an elite student-athlete and assistant coach is impressive and will be valuable as she leads our softball program."
Prior to her time with the Aggies, Carbonatto spent two years with Pacific as the top assistant and the WCC bestowed 10 all-conference awards to Tigers players.
Her first stint with Pacific came as a volunteer assistant in 2011 and 2012 where she worked with Tiger hitters and outfielders. During the 2011 season, Pacific earned its first Big West Conference championship and posted a 71-39 record in her two years.
Before returning to her alma mater in 2011, she joined the Washington Huskies as a member of their coaching staff. In 2008, she was the volunteer assistant before the program selected her as one of its full-time assistants the following season.
In her first season in Seattle, Washington advanced to the Regionals and the following year saw the Huskies win 51 games and finish the year as the No. 1 team in the nation by defeating Florida at the Women's College World Series and claiming its first national title.
After the Huskies won a Pac-10 championship in 2010, Carbonatto returned to her alma mater to pursue a graduate degree three years after capping one of the most successful individual careers in program history.
During the 2004 season, the Big West's Freshman Field Player of the Year also earned the first of four consecutive All-Big West first team selections. That year also marked the first of two occasions that the NFCA selected her as an All-American (2006-07).
In the following seasons, the three-time team MVP (2004, 2006-07) and Most Inspirational Player recipient (2004-05, 2007) earned additional conference awards when the Big West named Carbonatto as its Player of the Year in 2006 and Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2007. She was also a two-time Academic All-Region selection (2006-07).
Due to her athletic and academic excellence as a student-athlete, her jersey is one of only two numbers retired by the program.
Once her undergraduate career concluded, Carbonatto played professionally as a member of the New England Riptide of National Pro Fastpitch League for two seasons.
Carbonatto, a six-time Dean's List honoree, graduated cum laude from Pacific in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in sport sciences. Six years later, she earned a master's in sport pedagogy.
DODD LEAVES COACHING
Dodd steps aside after two seasons at the helm of the Broncos to pursue other opportunities outside of coaching.
"I loved my time at Santa Clara and I'm proud of what the team was able to accomplish," Dodd said. "I believe in Renee and her leadership with so many great things happening. The players, parents, alumni, and donors are exceptional people and have always had an unwavering support for the program. It was an honor to be a part of that, even for such a short time. The players I was fortunate enough to know and coach as some of the best people I know. They are remarkable young women who are brilliant, determined, hard-working, and kind and they will make a positive impact on society in whatever setting they pursue. I know the program is in good hands with Gina Carbonatto and I'm excited about the future of Santa Clara softball."
In 2019, she helped the Broncos improve by seven wins to post their best record since 2006 and a third place finish in the WCC.
Santa Clara had nine players honored on the All-WCC teams during Dodd's tenure with catcher Hannah Russell taking home back-to-back first team nods.
Dodd was behind the reigns when Aubree Kim tossed the fourth no-hitter in Bronco history April 28, 2018, and the first since 2004.
"Lisa did an outstanding job elevating our softball program," Baumgartner said. "Her dedication to our student-athletes and ability to change the culture has set us up for success for years to come. We wish her the best in her next chapter."
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