Endowed Position Honors Jessica Mendoza
STANFORD, Calif. – A new gift supporting the softball program honors a Cardinal legend while helping Stanford recruit and retain the best coaching staff.
With a gift from an anonymous donor, the assistant coachship position is being named for Jessica Mendoza, '02, a former All-American, Olympic medalist, and current broadcaster. Jessica Merchant will serve as the inaugural Jessica Mendoza Associate Head Softball Coach.
"Jessica was a standout competitor during her time on The Farm and beyond," said Bernard Muir, the Jaquish & Kenninger Director of Athletics. "I am thrilled to see her legacy as a student-athlete and as an advocate for the sport of softball recognized with this endowment."
One of the greatest softball student-athletes to don the Cardinal jersey, the four-time all-conference, all-region and All-America honoree was a trail blazer on the field. Mendoza owns career school records in batting average, hits, home runs, slugging percentage and runs, and was voted to ESPN's "Greatest College Softball Team" in 2020.
The 2000 Pac-10 Player of the Year led the Cardinal to its first Women's College World Series appearance as a junior in 2001, culminating in a run to the semifinals, where she was named to the all-tournament team. Mendoza was the conference's Newcomer of the Year in 1999 and ended her career as a NFCA Scholar All-American in 2002.
As an outfielder with Team USA, Mendoza won a gold medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics, and a silver medal in Beijing in 2008.
Mendoza's athletic accomplishments paved the way for her to become a pioneering broadcaster. Mendoza became the first woman to serve as an analyst for a nationally televised MLB game. She has covered the Korean Baseball Organization, the Women's College World Series, the MLB postseason and the World Series.
"We are thankful for this generous gift and excited to honor a Stanford legend," said head coach Jessica Allister. "Jessica Mendoza is not only one of the best to wear a Cardinal uniform of any kind, but she continues to be an inspiration to women everywhere."
"Coaches have a tremendous influence on student-athletes. I am so honored to have a coaching position endowed in my name," said Mendoza. "There is no place on earth like Stanford and I love that our coaches will continue to impact future generations of student-athletes in the same way that I was influenced."