Nyberg returns to Stanford as softball pitching coach | News | Palo Alto Online |


Nyberg returns to Stanford as softball pitching coach

Jessica Merchant also joins Jessica Allister's staff from Minnesota

Tori Nyberg coaching at Dominican last season. Photo courtesy of Stanford/Dominican Athletics.

Jessica Merchant and Tori Nyberg have been named assistant coaches of the Stanford softball team, as announced Tuesday by head coach Jessica Allister.

Merchant joins the Cardinal from Minnesota where she coached alongside Allister for the past seven years. Nyberg, a 2003 Stanford graduate, moves south from nearby San Rafael, California, where she served as the head coach of Dominican University in 2017.

Merchant helped Allister lead Minnesota to a 290-107 record overall and achieve its best season in program history in 2017. The Gophers earned a program-best 56-5 record and earned the first No. 1 national ranking in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches poll in program history.

"I worked with Coach Merchant for seven years at Minnesota and saw first hand the difference she makes in a program," said Allister. "She does a great job with the infield and hitters, has a tremendous rapport with the student-athletes and is a talented recruiter. I knew I wanted her to continue to be a part of my staff."

Merchant specializes in working with infielders and has coached players to multiple All-America, all-region and all-conference honors.

Prior to her time at Minnesota, Merchant coached at Massachusetts (2007-2010) and at her alma mater, Michigan (2006).

Merchant was a two-time NFCA All-American at Michigan and guided the Wolverines to the 2005 NCAA Championship – the first in program history.

She graduated in 2005 with a degree in sport management and communication. Merchant played professionally with the Connecticut Brackettes and the New England Riptide.

Nyberg, a teammate of Allister's from 2001-02, returns to The Farm after leading Dominican this past season. She made previous stops at Cal State Monterey Bay (2016), Northwestern (2004-10) and at the University of Illinois-Chicago (2003).

"Coach Nyberg was a great pitcher for Stanford and has excelled as a pitching coach since she left," said Allister. "She understands the skill set necessary to compete at the highest level and has the teaching acumen to help her pitchers get there. She has head coaching experience and knows what goes into leading a successful program. I am so excited to bring her back to Stanford."

While an assistant coach at Northwestern, Nyberg helped guide the Wildcats to two Big Ten Conference titles and multiple appearances in the Women's College World Series. She and her coaching staff earned NCAA Division I Coaching Staff of the Year honors in 2006.

Nyberg, who prepped at Carlmont High, has been active in the softball community off the field as well as the owner of Elevate Performance Counseling, LLC, which focuses on sports and performance counseling.

She graduated with a bachelor's degree in psychology from Stanford and master's in counselling psychology from Northwestern and is a licensed counselor.

Nyberg had a successful career with the Cardinal and was a two-time All-Pac-12 selection (2002, 2003), two-time NFCA Scholar Athlete (2002, 2003) and two-time Pac-12 All-Academic honoree (2002-2003).

Nyberg is ranked among the top 10 in Stanford history in career ERA (4th, 1.74), strikeouts (5th, 440), victories (6th, 53), innings pitched (6th, 551.0) and shutouts (7th, 14).

— Stanford Athletics

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