Stefanie Phillips | Assistant Coach
When the 2018-19 year begins, Stefanie Phillips will start her sixth year as a part of the Tarleton Softball program and her third year as the top assistant coach under head coach Mark Cumpian.
After spending her first three seasons as a second assistant under Julie Mata and Cumpian, she has coached pitchers, catchers, and slappers in all six years of her Tarleton tenure and will begin her third season of also working with outfielders and serving as the recruiting coordinator.
The 2018 season was a record year for the program and a banner season for the Tarleton pitching staff. Under Phillips’ guidance, Tarleton boasted the third lowest ERA in the LSC and the second-most strikeouts. Sophomore Jordan Withrow was named the LSC Pitcher of the Year and a Fastpitch News DII All-American after stepping into the ace role and throwing over 220 innings and striking out a school-record 252 hitters. Phillips had two pitchers named all-conference – Withrow and Megan Rosewell – during Tarleton’s program-record 50-win season. Tarleton returned to the NCAA playoffs and advanced to the regional finals for the second time in program history.
In her first season as the top assistant, the TexAnns qualified for the NCAA postseason for the fifth time in school history with 35 wins. Phillips’ pitching staff boasted the third-best ERA in the Lone Star Conference with 11 shutouts, including two shutouts of then-No. 1 Angelo State to take the regular season series.
As the second assistant in 2015, Phillips was a part of the TexAnns' run to the NCAA Super Regionals for the first time in school history. Tarleton went 33-22 and entered the regional tournament as the No. 8 seed before defeating West Texas A&M and Cameron to claim the South Central Region 1 Tournament Championship.
She coached freshman Haley Freyman to an all-conference season as a freshman and the second-most wins in a single season (21). Phillips has helped Freyman and catcher Nyka Wood earn all-conference accolades in three straight seasons.
In Phillips' debut season with the TexAnns, she assisted with the pitching staff, the catchers, outfielders, and slappers and helped Tarleton reach the LSC Championship Tournament for the 13th time in 19 seasons. She coached centerfielder Melody Mayse to a third-team all-conference selection.
She came to Tarleton after spending the 2013 as a coach at Sterling High School in Baytown.
Prior to her time at SHS, Phillips was a graduate assistant coach at the University of Oklahoma. While at OU, the Sooners won the Big XII Conference championships and were the runners-up at the College World Series. She joined the Sooner coaching staff after a four-year playing career at East Central University as a utility player.
She graduated in May 2011 with a Bachelors degree in Science with minors in Education and Math. She received her master’s degree in 2014 in sports administration.
Phillips, who previously coached under her surname Watson, was married in June 2015 to her husband, Josh. The couple resides in Granbury and welcomed their first child, Hattie, in the summer of 2017.
Nyka Wood | Graduate Assistant Coach
When the 2018-19 year begins, Nyka Wood will transition from the playing field to the dugout to begin her coaching career as the graduate assistant softball coach. She will be working with the infielders and outfielders while assisting with the catchers.
Wood joins the coaching staff after one of the all-time great playing careers at Tarleton State University.
She came to Tarleton as a part of Mark Cumpian’s first recruiting class and made an immediate impact as a true freshman, leading Tarleton to its first regional championship and Super Regional appearance in program history. She followed up with two more regional tournament berths, including another regional championship appearance last year as a senior.
Wood owns the all-time Tarleton records in games played (227), RBI (191), doubles (56), and sacrifice hits (49). She was a career .374 hitter in her four-year career to go along with 22 home runs and 382 total bases. She is also third on the all-time fielding putouts list (948) and sixth all-time on the all-time fielding percentage list (.983).
She was a four-time All-LSC selection, including two first-team honors. She was also an NFCA All-America Scholar-Athlete in 2017.
Wood received her bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Tarleton in August 2018 and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in human resource management. She is a native of North Richland Hills, Texas.