Colorado State University has attained national prominence and consistent winning seasons behind the guidance and leadership of Mary Yori, one of the game's most successful coaches.
During the 2009 campaign, Yori led the Rams to a 26-25 overall record, her third consecutive winning season at Colorado State. She coached Colorado State to an impressive victory over No. 7 California on March 21, marking the second time in three seasons Yori and the Rams have defeated a ranked California squad. She also led the Rams to a 7-8 Mountain West Conference record, tying for third place.
Yori also celebrated another coaching milestone in 2009, garnering her 700th career victory on April 19 against New Mexico at Ram Field.
In 2008, Yori led the Rams to a 29-22 overall record while reaching three important milestones in her career. Yori won her 200th game at CSU against Texas-San Antonio on Feb. 18 and coached in her 400th game at the university on April 4 against BYU. Along with adding to her CSU resume, Yori coached in her 1,000th career game, against Utah State, on March 8 at Ram Field. Yori also led the Rams to a 3-2 win over No. 20 Oregon on Feb. 8 and a 9-3 victory over No. 12 Northwestern on March 21.
During that same season Yori led the Rams to national recognition with the team placing in the top 25 in several offensive categories at the end of the season, including home runs per game (fourth), doubles per game (eighth), slugging percentage (ninth) and scoring (12th).
Yori also led the Rams atop the Mountain West Conference in several categories. As a squad, the Rams knocked 68 homers with 12 different CSU players contributing. The 68 home runs ranked second in the conference, while no other team in the conference had more than 10 players with a home run. Colorado State senior Lauren Cusick led the team and the conference with 20 home runs on her way to earning Mountain West Conference Player of the Year. Cusick is the second player under Yori to garner that award, as Stephanie Roberts was named Player of the Year in 2003.
During the 2007 campaign, Yori led the Rams to a 30-28 overall record and a third place finish in the MWC. She coached the Rams to an impressive 2-0 victory over No. 11 Cal on Feb. 17.
In 2006, Yori led the Rams to an even 26-26 season after an impressive 30-22 record in 2005, the third-straight season of 30-plus wins, marking only the second time in the programs' history that the team has had 30 or more wins in back-to-back seasons.
In 2004, Yori and the Rams followed the success of the 2003 campaign with a 40-14 record, becoming only the second squad in school history to reach the 40-win plateau. Yori earned Mountain West Coach of the Year honors for the second straight season as the Rams won the first MWC regular-season title in school history.
Heading into the 2003 season, Yori felt the program was on the verge of national success, but the Rams softball program arrived on the national stage sooner than anticipated. The team improved from 19-33 in 2002 to 37-15 in 2003, including a trip to the NCAA regional championship. This was just the second NCAA regional appearance for the Rams in program history; the first was in 1997.
With seasons like the Rams had in 2003 and 2004, it is understandable that Yori was voted back-to-back Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year.
Yori was named Colorado State's head softball coach in July of 2000, and immediately put in place a plan to build the school's softball program into one of the nation's finest. Her goals are based on the success she achieved throughout her coaching and playing career.
"We have worked very hard as a staff, and as student-athletes to reach the level of becoming a national-caliber program," said Yori. "I believe that everyone associated with our program is dedicated to the same goal."
Yori came to the Rams after having served as the head coach at the University of Nebraska-Omaha from 1988-99. During that time, she guided the program to 10 consecutive NCAA regional tournament appearances. UNO won the North Central Conference championship in 1994, `95, `96, and `97.
Yori has the well-deserved reputation as one of the nation's premier collegiate softball coaches. When the 2010 season begins, she will hold an impressive career coaching record of 706-380, having won 65 percent of her games as the head coach.
At UNO, she won nearly 75 percent of the games she coached, the fifth-highest figure in NCAA Division II history. On Nov. 7, 2007, Yori was inducted into the UNO Hall of Fame for her coaching accomplishments. Prior to becoming the head coach at UNO, Yori was an assistant at Creighton University, her alma mater. She played for the Blue Jays, earning All-America honors twice and leading her team to the College World Series three consecutive years from 1980-82. Yori was inducted in the Creighton Hall of Fame in 1992.
Twice in her coaching career at UNO she was selected by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association as the NCAA Division II Coach of the Year, in `94 and again in `96.
Yori brought that coaching reputation with her to Fort Collins, and is building the Rams' program into one of the nation's finest.