Jorge Araujo enters his eighth season with the Titans and his fourth as the associate head coach on the Cal State Fullerton softball staff in 2019-20, where he will continue to be the recruiting coordinator and defensive specialist for the team.
"I am honored to name Jorge Araujo the associate head coach of Cal State Fullerton," Ford said. "He has been with me since the beginning of my tenure as a Titan. I have the utmost respect for Coach Araujo. I would want my daughter to play for him. He is a character man that has an immense respect for the female athlete."
Since becoming part of the Fullerton softball staff, Araujo has made fielding a crucial part of the Titans success as the 2019 squad broke the team fielding percentage record by finishing the year with a .975 fielding percentage just edging out his 2015 team that set the record just four years ago. In what has been the most dominant defensive run in program history, Fullerton has ranked in the Top 35 in the NCAA four of the last seven seasons for fielding percentage.
In fact, the Titans have finished with a fielding percentage of at least .965 or higher in all seven of Coach Araujo's years with the Titans.
"When Coach (Araujo) and I came on board in 2012, Cal State Fullerton was ranked No. 199 in the country and the most recent RPI poll has us at No. 25. Coach Araujo has been an integral part of the 174-point jump. I am excited to develop the next chapter with Coach Araujo and I thank him for his dedication to Titan Athletics," Ford said.
In 2019, the Titans won the Big West Championship for the fourth straight year marking just the third time in conference history a program won four straight titles. Eight players earned all-conference honors including Player of the Year (Ari Williams), Freshman Pitcher of the Year (Dani Martinez), and Co-Freshman Field Player of the Year (Alexa Neil). Araujo's defense once again was a key factor setting the single-season fielding percentage record in program history and ranking 12th in the nation at year's end. Two of the Titan starters (Williams and Julia Valenzuela) went on to become the 11th and 12th Titans to ever finish a season with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage. Valenzuela is just the second catcher in Fullerton history to accomplish the feat.
Araujo was also named as the head coach of Mexico's Junior National Team at the conclusion of the 2019 season.
In 2018, Cal State Fullerton made history once again winning their third consecutive Big West Championship. The season included nine players earning conference honors, four of which were on the First Team. Araujo's defense was a major part of that as they finished with a .968 fielding percentage once again and the infield finished second in the nation with 36 double plays turned throughout the season. The program also had just its tenth player ever to finish with a 1.000 fielding percentage (minimum 75 chances) as Brooke Clemetson was perfect during her senior season in right field.
In 2017, Fullerton followed up their historic 2016 campaign with more history as they became back-to-back Big West champions for the first time since 2000-03. The season included eight player earning conference honors, three of which were spots on the first team.
In 2016, the Titans broke new barriers the program hasn’t seen in years as they finished the season with 45 victories, a Big West Conference title (first since 2006) and a spot in the NCAA Regionals for the first time since 2009. Also, Cal State Fullerton softball received four of the six major conference awards as Missy Taukeiaho was the Player of the Year, Desiree Ybarra was Pitcher of the Year, Sydney Golden was Freshman Pitcher of the Year and coach Ford was named Coach of the Year. The program also had eight combined all-conference selections to the first and second team in 2016, while also having two players named to the honorable mention and all-freshman team.
"I'm really happy to have coach Araujo as one of our leaders because his determination to win can be truly contagious," said Taukeiaho. "He pushes us to compete at the highest level in our quest for a conference championship and his direction can only help us be better every single day."
In his first season in 2013, Araujo helped the Titans close out the season winning 13 of their final 15 games, while finishing third in the Big West with a 28-28 overall record. With his help assisting the defense, Fullerton committed only 48 errors, the least amount in that category in program history.
Araujo was a part of the softball Mexican National Team coaching staff, responsible for the development of the defense while leading drills and practices. The team competed in the Canadian Open Fast Pitch Invitational (July 15-21) in Surrey, B.C., picking up a victory over the Bloomington Lady Hearts, 7-2. Prior to the tournament in Canada, Team Mexico participated in the General Tire World Cup of Softball IX (July 7-13) in Irvine, Calif., finishing fifth among the seven-team field with victories over the Philippines, 7-0, and Venezuela, 1-0.
Araujo served as a head coach for the Lakewood Firecrackers 18U-Gold squad in 2008-12 following six years as a head coach with the Lakewood Ladies Junior Olympic squad from 2003-08. During his tenure with the Firecrackers, Araujo helped lead the club to the ASA National Championship in 2008, a 2012 Triple Crown USA national title, and three ASA California State Championships.
He was also a teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District from 2007-12, also acting as the head varsity coach at Maywood Academy High School in Maywood, Calif., leading the Nighthawks to the City Section finals in 2012.
Collegiately, Araujo played two seasons of baseball at nearby Cal Poly Pomona as an infielder in 1988-89 after transferring from Rio Hondo Junior College. He graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a bachelor's degree in 1992.