Hirai Promoted to Associate Head Coach
Geoff Hirai enters his second season with the Oregon State softball team, and first as the team's associate head coach.
Working mainly with the team's hitters, Hirai was instrumental in one of the single greatest offensive seasons in school history in 2012. The Beavers posted a 36-23 record en route to their first NCAA Regional appearance since 2007. Oregon State batted .273, the fourth-best mark in program history, and set team records for both RBI (269) and runs scored (301). In the season-opener, OSU used a 16-run, five-home run second inning to defeat BYU 22-5 and in the process set school records for runs and home runs in a game. The 16 runs scored are the sixth most in NCAA history in any one frame and the five long balls hit in that second inning tied an NCAA record.
The Beavers' renaissance in 2012 saw the team re-enter the national polls for the first time since 2008, defeat a total of 10 ranked opponents and claim a number of defining wins, including an extra-innings upset of No. 3 Arizona State and a road victory over No. 14 UCLA in April.
OSU defeated its opponent by at least 10 runs on five occasions and scored more than 10 runs eight times, the second-highest totals in those respective categories in the 38-year history of the program.
Every Oregon State hitter saw a statistical improvement from their 2011 numbers. Additionally, Elizabeth Santana (.344, 5 HR, 26 RBI) became the fifth OSU player, and first since 2007, to receive a spot on the conference's First Team and Dani Gilmore (.322, 9 HR, 33 RBI) had the best season for a Beaver freshman since All-American Tarrah Beyster in 1997.
Hirai came to Corvallis from the University of Virginia, where he spent three seasons as an assistant coach for the Cavaliers, serving as the team's hitting coach while also aiding in the program's recruiting efforts. During his time in Charlottesville, Virginia compiled an 83-75 record and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2010.
Hirai helped tutor a number of NFCA Mid-Atlantic All-Region selections, including Nicole Koren and Sarah Tacke, who were named to the first team in 2010, and Giannina Cipolloni, who received a nod as a member of the second team in 2011.
No stranger to the Pac-12, Hirai made the move to Virginia after spending three seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Washington, with the Huskies advancing to the NCAA Tournament every year, including a berth in the 2007 Women's College World Series. During his stint in Seattle, Hirai's efforts helped players earn five All-America distinctions (two-time honoree Ashley Charters, Dominique Lastrapes, Danielle Lawrie and Dena Tyson), with Lawrie also representing Canada in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Charters was also named to the 2010 United States National Team.
Before coaching at Washington, Hirai worked as owner, instructor and coach at the All-Star Dugout in Irvine, Calif. He also coached an 18-under travel team for four seasons, providing instruction to aspiring collegiate and professional baseball players.
Hirai was a scout with Cincinnati Reds from 2001-03 where he was responsible for evaluating players for the Major League Baseball draft.
He was a four-year baseball letterwinner at Hawai'i-Hilo, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history in 1998 and served as the team's assistant coach for three seasons while working to obtain his teaching certificate in secondary education.
Hirai and his wife, Tracy, live in Corvallis with their son, Gavin.