Catching Up With New Assistant Coach D.J. Mathis
July 13, 2010
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
Last month, Kansas softball coach Megan Smith announced the addition of assistant coach D.J. Mathis to her staff. Mathis joined the Jayhawks’ after serving as a student assistant coach at the University of Oklahoma during the 2010 season.
The second overall pick in the 2009 National Pro Fastpitch Senior Draft by the Akron Racers, Mathis was a standout pitcher at Oklahoma from 2006-09 and left OU as one of the most decorated pitchers in school history. She owns the program’s second-best winning percentage (.768) after going 76-23 in four seasons with the Sooners and posted a 1.90 career ERA. She is listed in the top 10 of eight Oklahoma career pitching statistics.
Mathis sat down with KUAthletics.com to tell Jayhawk fans what made Kansas the perfect fit to continue her coaching career.
What attracted you to the University of Kansas?
“It is close to my family, which was definitely an added bonus to everything else. I know the type of history this athletic department has, not just in softball but all of the other sports as well, and that made me excited to have the opportunity to come here.”
How would you describe Coach Smith and Coach Roorbach?
“They are great people and they are a lot of fun to be around. What I think is cool about Coach Smith and Coach Roorbach is that they are competitors and they want to win. They are intense people on the field, but off the field, they are fun and fun to be around so they have the best of both worlds.”
How will your coaching style fit in with the coaching staff and the team?
“I am a very competitive person, it doesn’t matter what I am doing. That is something that I am excited to bring to the team. I think Coach Smith and Coach Roorbach are the same way so I think we fit together really well. I think we have the same philosophy about the game and the way it should be played.”
What do you hope to instill in the student-athletes at Kansas?
“I think one thing that helped me as a player was that I absolutely love the game and I had a lot of fun playing it. I really hope to instill the love I have for the game into the players here at Kansas.”
What made you want to become a coach?
“I have played softball my whole life. I don’t know anything other than softball. I just love the sport and I don’t know what else I would do. This sport has done so much for me as far as putting me through school and now I’m able to make a career out of it, and I want to give back to the players.”
What makes KU a great place for student-athletes?
“I have seen a lot of different schools all over the country and I think what makes Kansas standout is the fact that everyone works together. Not just for their own sports, but for the athletic department as a whole. I think that is hard to find. Also, all of the resources and facilities are in one place. “
What is your favorite part about Lawrence?
“Massachusettes Street is really neat. It has a lot of great, unique shops and places to eat.”