June 1, 2012
HOUSTON - The University of Houston softball program announced coaching changes Friday afternoon. Former volunteer assistant Jessica Valis has been promoted to an assistant coach position and current assistant coach Kristin Vesely has been named the recruiting coordinator.
In her new capacity as assistant coach, Valis will oversee slap hitting and defense for the infield. Valis has spent the previous two years at Houston following a successful playing career for UH.
"The advantage of her not only being a player here, but having success as an All-American, she's more than credible and capable. It's a natural move for us to have her promoted. I'm very happy that it all worked out for her to join our staff in this capacity."
One of the most decorated players in Houston softball history, Valis joins the Cougar coaching staff after a stint in the professional ranks. She wrapped up her career with the Akron Racers in the National Pro Fastpitch League, after helping them reach the NPF Championship Series in August 2010.
During her playing days with the Cougars, Valis was a standout player through the duration of her career. She was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team following the 2006 season, earned First Team All-Conference honors in each of her four years at Houston and was the C-USA Player of the Year in 2007.
Valis brought national attention to Houston softball in 2008 when she was one of three Cougars to reach NFCA All-America status for the first time in program history. She garnered NFCA All-South Region Second Team honors in 2007 and 2008, and was named to the ASA Player of the Year Top-50 Watch List prior to her junior and senior seasons.
The native of Shiner, Texas, she still holds several program records at Houston, including career batting average (.379), season batting average (.431, 2008), career runs scored (169), career hits (285), season hits (88, 2008), career triples (16), season triples (7, 2007), career stolen bases (61), season stolen bases (25), career assists (403) and career double plays turned (26).
Valis graduated from Houston in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science in Consumer Science and Merchandising with a minor in marketing.
"I'm very excited about this new position want to thank Kyla and the Houston staff for this opportunity," said Valis.
"I've been in this organization for a long time. When I started in this program as a student-athlete, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do in life. But as my career has advanced and I found success from this program at Houston, it was then I realized that I wanted to be a part of this program after my playing days are over. This is a dream come true for me."