Following triumphant return to NU staff, Rivera earns first head coaching opportunity
Northwestern volunteer assistant coach Amanda Rivera, who coached the Wildcats during the program's trips to the 2006 and 2007 Women's College World Series, is back with the NU staff for the 2011 season -- her third year Wearing Purple.
Rivera -- an instructor at Northwestern's summer camps in the past -- will be available for camps and clinics during the year and will run NU's Fall Academy.
During Rivera's first stop in Evanston in 2006-07, Northwestern compiled a 102-28 record with a Big Ten championship, a runner-up finish at the 2006 Women's College World Series and a semifinal appearance at the 2007 WCWS. NU set school single-season records with 85 home runs, 350 runs scored and 326 RBIs in 2007.
"Amanda has a great approach to the game and will be involved in all aspects of our program -- it is no coincidence that we made it to Oklahoma City when she was on staff before," head coach Kate Drohan said. "In addition, as an excellent and sought-after clinician, Amanda will be in charge of our Northwestern softball camps and clinics."
Rivera helped Garland Cooper to her final two Big Ten Player of the Year Awards in 2006-07 and also coached sluggers Tammy Williams (2006) and Nicole Pauly (2007) to Big Ten Rookie of the Year Awards. All three of those players went on to play in National Pro Fastpitch while Williams competed for the USA National Team in 2010.
A longtime private hitting instructor in the Chicago area, Rivera also coached club ball as the head coach of the Oak Park Windmills from 2002-07 after returning to her native Redondo Beach, Calif., and assisting the Southern California Blazers Gold in the summer of 2001. While with the Windmills, Rivera coached eventual three-time All-Big Ten Wildcat slugger Michelle Batts.
As a player herself, Rivera starred at UIC from 2001-04, leaving the Flames as their career leader in home runs (52) while ranking second in RBIs (193) and walks (125). She earned NFCA All-America honors as a senior in 2004 after slugging 20 home runs and driving in 64. Rivera then served as a volunteer assistant for the Flames in 2005 while completing work on a bachelor's degree in movement science.
Rivera's coaching career also has included stops at N.C. State (2008) and Indiana (2009-11). She directed all camps and clinics during her time with the Wolfpack and helped the Hoosiers to an NCAA Tournament berth in 2011 -- the program's first appearance in six years.