Former Texas A&M All-American Megan Gibson-Lofting joined Houston Softball as assistant coach on July 7, 2016.
Known for her illustrious pitching career, Gibson-Loftin will oversee the Cougars' pitching staff.
"Megan is a great addition to the coaching staff with her experience as a player and a coach. She has competed at the highest levels and has been successful making an impact at the programs she has coached," Vesely said. "She has a quiet confidence about her and has the ability to connect with the pitchers to get the most out of them as competitors. I expect great things from her and the pitching staff this upcoming year."
"I am really excited to be a part of the Houston Softball program. I grew up in the area, so I am very familiar with UH and the players in the Greater Houston area," Gibson-Loftin said. "I am excited to work with Coach Vesely and am grateful for the opportunity to work at a university while staying near to my family."
Gibson-Loftin spent the last season with UTSA as an assistant coach under Michelle Cheatham. The Spring, Texas, native returned to UTSA after two years at Penn State. The 2016 season marked her third campaign overall as the Roadrunners' pitching coach.
In her two seasons with the Nittany Lions, the pitching staff lowered its ERA and saw an increased number of strikeouts in the 2014 and 2015 seasons.
Penn State's Macy Jones posted a 7-3 record with a save and led the staff in ERA in 2015. The two-way star also hit .343 with 10 homers and 46 RBIs en route to Second-Team All-Big Ten honors. The squad posted a 29-28 record for its first winning mark since the 2011 season, and Penn State advanced to the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament.
The Roadrunners' pitching staff saw great improvement during Gibson-Loftin's first stint. Under her guidance, the UTSA staff lowered its ERA from 3.48 before her arrival to 2.76 in 2013, which was the best mark for the program since 2006. Haylee Staton, who earned Third-Team All-Southland Conference honors in 2012, totaled 30 wins and 284 strikeouts to lead the staff in two seasons under Gibson-Loftin.
Gibson-Loftin arrived at UTSA after spending four seasons in the National Professional Fastpitch League (NPF). With the No. 2 overall pick, the Philadelphia Force selected her in the 2008 NPF Senior Draft. In addition to her time in the league, Gibson-Loftin spent a season in the Japanese Softball Association.
Along with her career in the NPF, Gibson-Loftin served under Texas A&M head coach Jo Evans as a graduate assistant in fall 2008 and again as a volunteer pitching coach during the 2011 season. She also spent time as a softball instructor at High Performance Baseball in Tomball and as a volunteer assistant coach at Spring High School in 2010.
After leading Texas A&M to a runner-up finish at the 2008 Women's College World Series (WCWS), Gibson-Loftin left the Aggies as one of the most decorated players in program history.
Her stellar play in both the pitcher's circle and batter's box earned her National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-America honors as a freshman, junior and senior, and she finished as a runner-up for the NFCA's Player of the Year award in 2008.
Gibson-Loftin became the first player in Big 12 Conference history to be named both Player and Pitcher of the Year as a senior, and she went on to lead the Aggies to the 2008 conference tournament title as the Most Valuable Player. She also led Texas A&M to a league crown in 2005 and a WCWS appearance in 2007.
During her time at Texas A&M, Gibson-Loftin broke five career school records, including doubles (48), RBIs (183), total bases (447), slugging percentage (.717) and walks (172). She also ranks in the program's top 10 in 10 categories.
Gibson-Loftin graduated from Texas A&M in 2008 with a bachelor's degree in sports management with a minor in business. She married Lance Loftin in November 2015.