Smith Adds Hull-Tietz, Hancock to KU Softball Staff
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas head softball coach Megan Smith filled several of the vacancies left on her staff at the end of the 2016 season with the addition of Maggie Hull-Tietz and Jessica Hancock, as announced Thursday afternoon.
Hull-Tietz, who played for Kansas from 2010-13, rejoins the KU softball as the director of operations. The last Jayhawk to earn All-America honors, Hull-Tietz returns to the program where her storied softball career took place. The Lawrence, Kansas native rewrote the record books, etching her name in nearly every KU offensive statistical category. Smith also added Hancock, who goes by George, as the volunteer assistant coach. Hancock heads to Rock Chalk Park with over six years of coaching experience along with a successful playing career.
A three-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team (2011-13) award winner as well as a three-time All-Big 12 honoree (2011-13), Hull-Tietz was also a two-time Academic All-American (2012, 2013). Revered for her work on the field and in the classroom, Hull-Tietz was bestowed the inaugural Big 12 Softball Co-Scholar-Athlete of the Year award in 2013 after finishing the regular season as the league’s batting champ for the second-straight year.
“I am so excited to welcome Maggie back,” said Smith. “She was a highly-decorated player for our program, but her biggest contribution was her determination, leadership and love for our program. She has such a positive impact on everyone she comes into contact with. Our players, staff, parents and alumni will benefit from her passion for Kansas softball.”
Her .456 batting average in 2013 broke her own single-season record at Kansas and ranks third-best in Big 12 history. At the conclusion of the 2013 regular season, Hull covered nearly every offensive category in the Big 12 rankings: batting average (.456, 1st), hits (73, 1st), doubles (18, 1st), triples (4, 2nd), total bases (120, 4th), on-base percentage (.532, 4th), slugging percentage (.750, 5th), runs scored (45, T-8th) and RBIs (45, 9th).
“Words cannot explain how excited I am to be joining the KU Softball Staff in the role of Director of Operations,” said Hull-Tietz. “As one of Coach Smith’s former players, I have so much respect for her and the way she leads this program – it will be an honor to work under her and alongside an amazing athletic department. I am so thankful for the opportunity and look forward to working with the Jayhawk Softball family every day.”
In 210-consecutive starts for the Jayhawks, Hull-Tietz completed her time at Kansas as the program’s leader in career batting average at .368, which sits one spot away from the Big 12’s all-time top-10 list. Hull was drafted 11th overall in April of 2013, the highest draft selection of a KU softball player in program history.
A 2013 graduate from Kansas, Hull-Tietz earned degrees in journalism and Spanish, and played one season with the Chicago Bandits following graduation. Hull-Tietz resides in Lawrence with her husband, Kevin.
Beginning her first season as the Jayhawks’ volunteer assistant coach, Hancock comes to Lawrence after spending the last six seasons as the pitching coach at the University of Pacific in California. She joined the Tigers’ coaching staff after finishing her pitching career at UC Davis in 2009.
“We are extremely excited and feel lucky that George has joined our staff,” Smith said. “She is a great addition and will bring so much knowledge and experience to our program. She will primarily work with our catchers and assist Coach Butler with the pitching staff, but she will also add so much to every aspect of our program.”
In six seasons guiding the Tigers’ hurlers, Hancock has consistency developed one of the conference’s best pitching staffs. In 2015, senior Dani Bonnet and freshman Marissa Young each garnered WCC All-Conference honors while two-way player Cassidy Gustafson also picked up the recognition.
“I am very excited to be joining the Kansas Softball program and having the opportunity to work alongside such a well-respected and successful coaching staff,” said Hancock. “I thank Coach Smith for allowing me to be a part of the great Jayhawk family, enthusiastic fans and eager student-athletes.”
In 2014, Hancock led the Pacific staff through injuries that significantly increased the workload on Tori Shepard and Bonnet. Shepard was named WCC Pitcher of the Week (3/24) following a performance in which the Tiger starter pitched 22.2 innings, surrendering just two earned runs and recording 12 strikeouts. For Bonnet, highlights included a complete game victory at Saint Mary’s (4/19), allowing just a single run in a 6-1 victory and a complete-game shutout against San Diego (4/ 26), holding the Toreros to just one extra-base hit.
In 2013, the Tigers’ pitching staff finished third for the third-consecutive season with a 2.87 ERA, again better than the previous season, while hurler Nikki Armagost was named to her fourth consecutive All-Big West first team.
In addition to their marks as a team, under Hancock, the Tigers put a pair of pitchers on the all-conference team in 2012 for the second-straight season with Armagost and Shepard each earning second team honors. In 2010, Armagost was named the Big West Freshman Pitcher of the Year under the guide of Hancock.
As a player, Hancock was a three-time all-conference honoree in the circle for the Aggies and enjoyed immense success in the circle throughout her five years at UC Davis. As a senior, Hancock led the conference with 172 strikeouts and was fifth in ERA (1.85). She also finished with 13 wins, five shutouts and 14 complete games. Her efforts earned her a spot on the All-Big West honorable mention team.
As a junior, Hancock posted 17 wins with 225 strikeouts and a 2.42 ERA in 43 appearances. For her play, Hancock was named a First-Team All-Big West pitcher, earning her second-straight first-team honor after picking up First-Team All-Division I Independent honors.
A native of Long Beach, California, Hancock earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from UC Davis in 2009. Hancock and her fiancée, J.B. Brown, reside in Lawrence.
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