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Contact: William Sodoma
Date: July 9, 2009
WATERVILLE, Maine --- Kristina Katori is coming back to Colby College as the new head softball coach.
Katori, who spent four years as an assistant softball and assistant women's basketball coach at Colby during her first stint with the Mules, replaces Dick Bailey. Katori, or also known as KK, was an assistant under Bailey during her first time at Colby. Bailey retired in May with a career record of 443-296-3 in 13 years at Colby and 11 at St. Joseph's College.
"It is wonderful to have KK back at Colby," Colby Director of Athletics Marcella Zalot said. "She understands the intercollegiate experience that we are trying to create and our goals and mission as a department. She has built the New Paltz softball program in her time there and we look forward to her work with our softball program. The future of Colby softball is in great hands with KK at the helm."
Katori recently finished her third season as the softball head coach at New Paltz. She compiled a 61-58 record and made the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) playoffs in two of the three years. New Paltz had a 47-161-1 overall record and an 18-98 mark in SUNYAC play in the six years before Katori's arrival. Katori's 2008 team set New Paltz team records for overall wins in a season (25) and conference wins in a season (13).
"I'm proud of the fact that (New Paltz) can now compete in the conference and they have the respect of the other teams in the league," Katori said. "I was also thrilled that we made the (SUNYAC) playoffs for the first time in nine years and we had the program's first-ever All-American."
Besides working with Bailey at Colby, Katori was an assistant softball coach along with Candice Parent, the head volleyball coach for the Mules. Katori was an assistant women's basketball coach under former head coach Patricia O'Brien.
"I was fortunate to work with some great people when I was at Colby and I have some terrific mentors," Katori said. "The experience I had at Colby as an assistant coach gave me the opportunity to become a head coach."
Katori earned her master's degree in athletic administration from Plymouth State in 2002 and also was an assistant softball and basketball coach for the Panthers while earning her degree. Katori then moved on to Colby in the summer of 2001 and was with the Mules until the fall of 2006. She then spent one season as varsity softball coach at Matignon High School in Cambridge, Mass., before securing the New Paltz position in the summer of 2006. Katori also was the Senior Woman Administrator and compliance coordinator at New Paltz since January 2008.
Katori earned a bachelor's degree in English from Nichols College in 1998 and was inducted into the school's athletic hall of fame in 2005. She was the most valuable player for basketball (1996 and 1997) and softball (1997 and 1998) while at Nichols. Katori was named the Nichols Outstanding Senior Female Athlete in 1998.
Katori was a four-year starter in both sports at Nichols. On the softball diamond, Katori started every game and finished her career with records for at-bats (406), singles (117), runs scored in a season (40), sacrifices in a season (13), and career (42). She was a two-time Commonwealth Coast Conference All-Star. Katori became just the fifth women's basketball player at Nichols to score 1,000 career points and finished her career third on the all-time scoring list with 1,163 points. Katori holds school records for 3-point shots made in a game (6), 3-point field goal percentage in a game (86 percent), and 3-point shots made in a career (147).
Katori, a native of Charlton, Mass., will assist Parent with the volleyball team in the fall as part of her other duties at Colby.
"Colby is a special place and I really enjoyed my time there the first time," Katori said. "The players I talked with are eager and hungry to be a contender in the conference. I think they want to learn and be a top four team in the conference."