Sports

Wolf Pack softball coaches will hold clinic

Yosemite High School alumni Josh Taylor, head coach of the University of Nevada softball team, will hold a clinic for the sport July 17 at his alma mater.
Yosemite High School alumni Josh Taylor, head coach of the University of Nevada softball team, will hold a clinic for the sport July 17 at his alma mater. Submitted photo

A softball clinic, open to players 12-18 years old, will be held 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 17 at Yosemite High School.

The clinic will feature YHS 1991 graduate Josh Taylor, who is currently the head softball coach at the University of Nevada, an NCAA D-I team. Assisting him will be former Team USA pitcher Brianne Durfee.

“Josh wants to give back to his Alma Mater which is why he will be here,” said Dave Maynez, YHS softball coach. “This is a great opportunity for YHS softball and others players in the Mountain Area and the Valley.”

Registration is $30 and the clinic is open to the first 60 who sign up. Those interested need to go to www.yosemiteusd.com/yosemite, print out the registration form and waiver. They form can either be mailed to YHS or dropped off at the school.

Taylor, who played shortstop and second base for three years on the Badger varsity baseball team, and was the school’s quarterback on the football team for two seasons, enters his second year at the helm of the UON softball program.

In his first season as head coach, he helped lead the team to one of its most successful seasons since joining the Mountain West Conference. In his first year the former Wolf Pack baseball player brought Nevada back to the postseason for the first time since 2009, with 32 wins and a third place finish in the Mountain West.

He spent the previous four seasons as a Wolf Pack assistant coach, and prior to that was an assistant coach at Feather River College in Quincy where he helped lead the team to three consecutive Super Regional appearances from 2010 to 2012.

Under his direction, Nevada saw four of its players receive Mountain West All-Conference honors in 2017, including two first-team selections. In 2017, Taylor helped the Pack reach the 30-win plateau in back-to-back seasons.

The 2012 season was highlighted by Taylor’s third consecutive 30-win season and his 10th playoff victory in the regional playoff. In 2011, Feather River reached its second straight Super Regional in a season that also saw Taylor receive the Gatorade Coach of the Year award.

In 2010, Taylor was named Golden Valley Conference Coach of the Year after leading the Quincy Golden Eagles to their first GVC title since 2006. The Taylor-led offense topped the GVC in team batting average, runs, RBI, doubles and triples.

While playing at Nevada, Taylor had an impressive senior season in 1994 where he appeared in 41 games, with a batting average of .284. That year, the Wolf Pack compiled a season record of 41-15 while going 16-5 in the Big West Conference en route to capturing its first D-I conference championship and appearing in the program’s first NCAA Regional.

Nevada was ranked as high as No. 6 in the nation that season and finished the season ranked No. 17. Taylor was inducted into the Nevada Athletics Hall of Fame in 2015 as part of the 1994 baseball squad.

“I can’t wait to get back to Yosemite High to help young softball players improve their skills,” Taylor said. “ I have some great memories of Yosemite High and Oakhurst, and I and Brianne are looking forward to meeting all the girls that attend the clinic.”

Brianne Durfee

Brianne (McGowan) Durfee will begin her second year as an assistant coach with the Wolf Pack softball program in 2017-18.

Durfee, a Reno native and one of the most decorated softball players in the state, was a standout, four-year starting pitcher at Wooster High School. She led the Colts to four consecutive 4A state titles and was named the state’s Pitcher of the Year in 2001. Her team went undefeated in league play in 2002 and she was named the Gatorade National Player of the Year and Nevada Prep Athlete of the Year.

Following her high school career she went on to play four years of college softball at Oregon State from 2004-07. As a sophomore in 2005 she was named the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year and aided in the Beavers advancing to the NCAA Women’s College World Series the following year.

Her name appears many times throughout the OSU record book as she holds records for wins in a single season (36), career wins (100), and strikeouts in a game (16), season (346) and career (852). She also ranks in a tie for fourth all-time at OSU in career home runs (35) and is second in career runs batted in (134).

Durfee also had playing success outside of college, winning a gold medal with Team USA at the 2007 World University Games and was a member of the 2004 USA Junior Olympic team.

Yosemite High School

  Comments