Jackie Gonzalez returns to alma mater as assistant coach to SRSU softball and volleyball

ALPINE — Former Lady Lobo starting pitcher Jackie Gonzalez returns to Sul Ross as assistant softball and volleyball coach, slated to work under her former softball coach, Troy Canaba.

“I am excited to have Jackie on staff with us. She is a very hardworking and determined person,” said Canaba.

A four-year starter under coach Canaba from 2015-2018, Gonzalez improved her softball record every year, sporting back-to-back 10-win campaigns in her final two seasons as the ace of the staff. Her playing days span both sports, as Gonzalez was a two-sport athlete at Montwood High School in El Paso where she played softball and volleyball.

Now Gonzalez finds herself on familiar turf as assistant to Canaba. Upon graduating in 2018 with a bachelor’s in biology, she became a graduate assistant for his softball program for the 2019 season. Presented with the chance to come back, she realized it was an opportunity she couldn’t pass up.

“I decided to come back to Sul Ross because I love the university and I love Alpine,” Gonzalez said. “The opportunity to coach in a program that I was a part of and work with someone who I trust is a blessing.”

Gonzalez most recently served as a volunteer coach at El Paso’s Bowie High School for their softball and volleyball programs this past school year. This will be her first opportunity as a coach at the collegiate level, and Canaba credits her experience as a testament to what she brings to the programs.

“With her understanding what our players go through during practice and games, getting the knowledge from the coaching side will be beneficial to the players and myself,” Canaba explained.

Gonzalez shared Canaba’s sentiments and she’s confident she has what it takes to be a college coach, saying, “I believe I bring experience as a coach and as a player. I’ve been where these girls are, so I understand the hard work it takes to be a part of this program.”

She credits her experience with Canaba as an incredible benefit to her. “I loved playing for Coach Canaba. I grew as a player and a person throughout this program and I couldn’t be more grateful that my college experience was played under a coach like him,” said the new SRSU coach. “I’m excited for this opportunity to coach with him as well and I look forward to continuing to learn from him.”