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The former star pitcher at James River High School and Virginia Tech has been named to the Hokies' softball coaching staff.
The Roanoke Times | File 2008
Virginia Tech’s new softball pitching coach was known by her maiden name, Angela Tincher, during her playing days with the Hokies.
The Roanoke Times | File 2006
Angela Tincher O’Brien was the college player of the year in 2008.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
If any Virginia Tech softball pitcher ever wonders whether or not she should heed the advice of the team’s new pitching coach, she need only look around the ballpark.
Virginia Tech announced Tuesday that Angela Tincher O’Brien is returning to her alma mater as pitching coach.
The former James River High School and Virginia Tech great had such a stellar college career that her retired No. 1 is displayed on the outfield fence at Tech Softball Park, and photos of her in action adorn the exterior of the ballpark.
“That might be strange, to look at yourself every day,” she said with a laugh in a phone interview from Orlando, Fla.
Tincher O’Brien, 27, has been living in Orlando for the past two years with her husband, former Tech baseball player Sean O’Brien.
The former All-American replaces Barb Sherwood, who left Scot Thomas’ staff earlier this month to become the head coach at Portland State. Sherwood spent the past five seasons at Tech, helping the Hokies make the 2012 and 2013 NCAA tournaments.
“Sean and I had discussed that if the possibility [of coaching at Tech] would come up, we would definitely be interested,” Tincher O’Brien said. “It’s good timing for us. I’m excited to get back into coaching and get back to Blacksburg.”
She was the pitching coach for Syracuse in the 2010 season and for Maryland in the 2011 season, helping both teams make the NCAA tournament.
“It’s always been something that I enjoyed doing, even doing lessons when I was much younger and working camps and clinics,” she said of coaching. “The timing just wasn’t really right career-wise to stay in and do it because I wanted to get down to Orlando and we were getting married and there were a lot of other things going on in my life.
“I knew that it was something I would want to get back into likely, but it would have to be the right fit and the right program, which obviously Virginia Tech is.”
After moving to Florida, she spent a year as the product manager for a sporting goods company and spent the past year giving private pitching lessons. She also was a volunteer pitching coach at a junior college the past two seasons, offering guidance once or twice a week.
She was known as Angela Tincher when she pitched for James River and the Hokies. She helped the Knights win two state crowns and led the Hokies to two ACC titles and four NCAA tournament appearances.
Tincher was the national college player of the year as a senior in 2008, when she led the Hokies to the Women’s College World Series and threw a no-hitter in an exhibition upset of the U.S. Olympic team. She ranks third in NCAA Division I history in career strikeouts (2,149) and 11th in wins (123).
She pitched professionally in the National Pro Fastpitch league and in Japan.
Tincher O’Brien spent this summer as a color commentator for National Pro Fastpitch games on ESPN3.com and for the Internet broadcasts of the NPF’s team in Kissimmee, Fla. She said she will put broadcasting on “the back burner” to focus on her new job.
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