Softball coach Aguirre staying home with Fullerton Hornets

Fullerton College softball coach Crystal Aguirre. (Fullerton College Athletics)
Fullerton College softball coach Crystal Aguirre. (Fullerton College Athletics)

FULLERTON - The Fullerton College Athletic Department is excited to announce the full-time hiring of softball head coach Crystal Aguirre.

"We are extremely excited to have Crystal lead our softball program. She bleeds Fullerton blue while giving her heart and soul to Fullerton College Softball. She truly cares about the development of players both on the field and off the field. Crystal has proven she can win at this level and move student-athletes onto four-year colleges", Fullerton College Athletic Director Scott Giles.

A familiar face that has brought much success to the Hornet softball program, Aguirre has co-coached with Marian "Speedy" Mendoza and worked as an assistant coach since 2011. For the past five seasons, both coaches shared the head coaching duties and will continue on with the successful combination.

Pending board approval in August by the NOCCCD, Coach Aguirre will be hired as a full-time instructor for Fullerton College's Physical Department and work as the head softball coach with her good friend, Coach Mendoza.

"I feel very blessed to continue working alongside my best friend. Crystal is an amazing coach that genuinely cares about our student-athletes. She is one of the best instructors on campus as well. She cares about people and that's why the job comes so easily for her. Our softball program is definitely headed in an upward direction, and I'm so happy for Crystal as she truly deserves the best", said Coach Speedy Mendoza.

Aguirre and Mendoza had a fantastic 2021 softball season leading the Hornets to their first Orange Empire Conference championship since they won back-to-back titles in 2000 and 2001 under former head coach Lisa Bassi. Aguirre played on the 2000 team and was a first-team All-OEC and All-SoCal catcher.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the hiring committee, Athletic Director Scott Giles, Dean of Physical Education David Grossman and former FC College President Dr. Greg Schulz for this opportunity. My love for Fullerton College is special. As a former alumnus, I'm excited to continue to build and lead this program to new heights. Our ultimate goal is to build confident young strong independent women", said Aguirre.

Aguirre and Mendoza have a proven track record for success taking the Hornets to the playoffs in five straight seasons since 2015 (no playoffs in 2020 or 2021 due to COVID-19). Both coaches were named the 2019 and 2021 "OEC Co-Coaches of the Year" and the "State Co-Coaches of the Year" in 2019. 

"I would like to give a special thanks to my mentor, best friend, and co-head coach Marian 'Speedy' Mendoza. Speedy has been an intricate part of my success. This opportunity wouldn't be possible without her. I'm excited and looking forward to building our empire together", Aguirre added.

A four-year varsity player out of California High School, Crystal was voted All-League every season she played. She was also a two-year All-Area selection that batted .469 as a junior and over .500 her senior year.

Crystal came to Fullerton College in 1998 where, as a true freshman, she made a name for herself earning second-team All-Orange Empire Conference honors while being named to the All-Tournament team at the State Finals batting .350 with 29 RBIs. After spending some time away from the game, Aguirre came back to play for the Hornets in 2000. Without missing a beat, Crystal went on to earn first-team All-Conference and All-Southern California batting .408 with 19 RBIs in conference play, while finishing .366 overall with 29 RBI.

Graduating with an A.A. Degree from Fullerton College, Crystal was offered a full-ride scholarship to Cal State Bakersfield.

In 2003, Crystal began coaching softball at Santa Ana Valley High School as the assistant varsity coach. She also spent four seasons coaching travel ball and giving private hitting, fielding, and catching lessons.

Crystal graduated from Cal State Los Angeles in 2007 with a B.A. in Kinesiology, and she then went on to earn a Master's degree in Physical Education at Azusa Pacific University.

Fullerton College has a long history and winning tradition in the sport of softball. The Hornets won a state championship in 1980 under legendary sports pioneer and Hall of Famer Margo Davis along with 12 conference titles.

(Phil Thurman, Fullerton College Athletics)