On Friday, the San Francisco Giants hired Alyssa Nakken as an assistant coach to Gabe Kapler’s staff. With the hire, Nakken becomes the first female coach in major league history.
Nakken, a former softball player, previously played for the Sacramento State Hornets. During her softball career, Nakken totaled 171 hits, 19 home runs, 83 RBIs, and maintained a .304 batting average. She was a four-time All-Conference first baseman and team captain in her junior and senior seasons. Nakken eventually graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
Nakken has been with the Giants baseball operations department since 2014. She worked for the team on health and wellness programs. Nakken also worked in player development, international operations, and the amateur draft. The newly-hired Giants coach is the head of Giants Women’s Network, which focuses on promoting diversity and equality inside the San Francisco Giants organization.
While with the Giants in 2015, Nakken went to school at the University of San Francisco and got her master’s degree in sports management.
Nakken will travel with the Giants full-time and will be in uniform before games; she will pitch batting practice and hit fungoes.
Giants manager Gabe Kapler had this to say about Nakken, “Simply, I think she’s going to be a great coach, merit and the ability to be a great coach trumps all.” He also added this,” Mark and Alyssa will focus on fostering a clubhouse culture that promotes high performance through, among other attributes, a deep sense of collaboration and team.”
The San Francisco 49ers have Katie Sowers as an assistant coach, and the NBA has several female assistant coaches. The MLB seems to be turning the page and getting on board with hiring female coaches.