FULLERTON, Calif. – With the Titan Softball program set to host their annual alumni slow-pitch game and the Leadoff Social dinner on Saturday, January 27th, we take a look at some of our former Titans who are now giving back to the sport of softball.
This week we focus on Chenita Rogers (1986-87) and Courtney Martinez (2006-09).
Chenita Rogers is currently coaching for Diamond Ranch High School in Pomona, Calf. as well as the Corona Angels, one of the best travel fastpitch organizations in the country. She has been involved with season training and coaching travel ball for over 20 years now. She was an instructor at Baseball Softball World, Inc. Southern California's longest owned and operated indoor baseball and softball training center and one of the best in California. She has also served as a coach for numerous ASA softball travel teams and ran countless softball academies and camps. Prior to joining the travel ball scene, Rogers served as an Assistant Coach at both of her college alma maters, Sacramento City College and Cal State Fullerton.
"When I played at Fullerton, Judi Garman had us host camps that brought out the young athletes," said Rogers. "And I enjoyed spending every one of those days with them. Not just training them, but seeing their eyes light up and the smiles on their faces was such an awesome feeling."
Coach C, as she is referred to with her players, has been an inspiration to a lot of softball players and has helped her athletes develop into some of the top collegiate players at the Division I, Division II, NAIA, and community college levels. Teaching athletes of all ages and instilling a great work ethic in them, she has seen hundreds of her players develop into some of the best athletes in the country.
Rogers continued, "I have loved every coach I've ever had and they all led me in a good direction and played a big part in my life, so I've used what they taught me to not only train these kids in softball, but to teach them to be accountable for themselves and help them in life as well. I see this as my gift that God gave me, so I put my heart into it and I'm going to try to coach the rest of my life."
Rogers played two seasons as a Titan, including the national championship season in 1986. She etched her name in the CSF record books with her lightning speed. She currently ranks in the top 10 in batting average, on base percentage, and stolen bases. She also holds spots in the individual season top 10's for hits and stolen bases.
Courtney Martinez will be starting her new tenure as an assistant coach at Iowa State. She started her coaching career here at Cal State Fullerton serving as a volunteer assistant from 2009-10. Since then, she has served as a Volunteer Assistant at Azusa Pacific and was eventually promoted to Assistant Coach in September 2011. She also served as an Assistant Coach at CSU Bakersfield for two seasons and her most recent venture was two seasons at the University of Nevada – Las Vegas.
"I got really into coaching after my experience at Azusa Pacific and I realized what kind of impact I can make on these athletes' lives," said Martinez. "I had great mentors and coaches at Fullerton and throughout my life that really made me a better person and I'm forever grateful for them, so I want to share those experiences with others.
Martinez has been an Assistant Coach most of her coaching career and has made an impact at each program she's been a part of. At UNLV, she spent her first year as an Assistant Coach, but was promoted to Associate Head Coach for her second season. As a Rebel, she specialized in mentoring the infielders and the team's hitting instruction as well. While she was at Bakersfield, she helped transition the team from its independent status into the Western Athletic Conference. Under her watch, CSUB saw six athletes earn All-WAC honors and four were named to the WAC All-Tournament team where the Roadrunners ended up with a second-place finish. At Azusa Pacific University, she played a huge role both on and off the field. Not only was she a coach for the softball program, she served as an academic mentor, athletic compliance assistant and an assistant supervisor for the university's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
Martinez continued, "when you get that request for a letter of recommendation or a wedding invitation or something that just says 'thank you' and shows what kind of impact on a person's life you have had, it means a lot. Just to have the opportunity to change these athletes' lives is so rewarding. The four years these athletes spend in college are the most influential so it's important they have a good role model and I want to be that role model."
As a Titan (2006-09), Martinez helped her team to four straight NCAA Regionals and a Super Regional appearance in 2007. She was named Big West Player of the Week twice (2007) as well as a Second Team selection in 2009. She finished her career ranked in the top 10 in triples, sacrifice hits, hit by pitches and fielding assists.
"What Courtney and Chenita have done for the sport of softball is unbelievable," said head coach Kelly Ford. "Between the two of them, I'm sure they have coached thousands of kids and the gifts they're giving these young athletes is just incredible. They are both outstanding students and educators of the game and for them to continue to share their knowledge with the next generation is amazing. I know they are both making coach Garman and coach Gromacki very proud."
The alumni game will be played January 27 at 1:00 p.m. at Anderson Family Field followed by the Leadoff Social dinner at 4:00 p.m.
If you or anyone you know is a Cal State Fullerton alumni and is continuing to give back to the game of softball by coaching, giving private lessons, or running camps/clinics contact Collin Robinson (email@example.com) or Head Coach Kelly Ford (firstname.lastname@example.org) so we can share your story.
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