MEGAN GIBSON-LOFTIN | ASSISTANT COACH
Former Texas A&M All-American Megan Gibson-Loftin joined the University of Houston Softball program as an assistant coach on July 7, 2016.
Known for her illustrious pitching career, Gibson-Loftin will oversee the Cougars' pitching staff.
In 2018, Gibson-Loftin helped Houston to its second consecutive second-place finish in the American Athletic Conference and eighth appearance in the NCAA Softball Championship with an at-large berth, the program's first since 2014. Tabbed a No. 3 seed in the Baton Rouge Regional, the Cougars finished the season with a 37-22 overall record and 13-9 mark in The American.
Junior Savannah Heebner was The American Co-Pitcher of the Year, NFCA All-Region First Team and NFCA All-America Second Team, collecting Houston's sixth All-America honor and first since 2014. Heebner posted a 26-10 record and 1.15 ERA in 32 starts with 27 complete games and 13 shutouts. Her 13 shutouts rank second all-time at Houston in a single season and tied for third in the nation in 2018, while her 26 wins, 1.15 ERA and 27 complete games rank third all-time at Houston in a single season.
In 2017, Gibson-Loftin helped the Cougars to a 30-25 overall record and 12-6 mark in American Athletic Conference play. The Cougars finished in second place in The American for the regular season and added a runner-up finish at The American Championship. The two finishes are the program's highest respective finishes as a member of the league.
The Cougars, who finished second in The American in opponent batting average (.260), lowered their ERA from 3.62 to 2.65, Houston's lowest ERA since 2013. The pitchers also racked up 243 strikeouts after recording 165 in 2015.
Sophomore utility player/pitcher Savannah Heebner was named to The American First Team. In addition, Heebner also was garnered The American All-Tournament Team, tossing consecutive complete-game shutouts to propel the team to the championship game, and National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division I All-Region First Team honors.
On Feb. 18, 2017, freshman Trystan Melancon, who was named to The American All-Rookie Team, tossed the 16th no-hitter in program history in a 12-0, five-inning run-rule of Rhode Island at Cougar Softball Stadium as part of the Houston Classic.
Gibson-Loftin spent the 2016 season with UTSA as an assistant coach under Michelle Cheatham. The native of Spring, Texas, returned to UTSA after two years at Penn State. The 2016 season marked her third overall campaign as the Roadrunners’ pitching coach.
AT PENN STATE
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 RBI 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 in the 2008 Women's College World Series, 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 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), RBI (183), total bases (447), slugging percentage (.717) and walks (172). She also ranks in the program's top 10 in 10 categories.
Gibson-Loftin was inducted into the Texas A&M Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014.
Gibson-Loftin graduated from Texas A&M in 2008 with a bachelor's degree in sports management and a minor in business.
She married Lance Loftin on November 6, 2015. The two welcomed their daughter, Lakelyn Hayes, in February 2018.
Head Coach Kristin Vesely on Gibson-Loftin's hire:
"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. 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."