Anissa Urtez, Mexican National Team member, as well as professional Scrap Yard Dawg of the National Pro Fastpitch League, joins the Utah Valley University softball coaching staff.
Urtez is originally from Long Beach, California, and is the oldest of three. Both younger siblings have, surprisingly, also chosen to pursue sports. However, it was who Urtez fell in love with softball. “I have been playing softball since I was about five.” she says. “My parents actually let me play every sport and let me decide which one I loved and I stuck with softball. My mom played softball in high school and Dad was a wrestler.”
Starting at the young age of five, Urtez had many years to grow her love and passion for the sport. “As I got older, my passion for the sport has grown tremendously. Coming from an elite college program, and now playing professional, had intrigued me on continuing to learn the game from a different perspective. I’m really excited to be in Orem and also learn from Coach Hubbard.”
According to UVU Athletics department, during Urtez’s time in Salt Lake City, she started every game of her standout career for the Utes and had her best offensive output during her senior campaign in 2017. During her senior season, the shortstop ranked fourth in the Pac-12 with a .405 batting average and fourth in the league in runs batted in with 50. She also holds top-five rankings for her career in both doubles (42) and RBIs (161).
When Urtez wanted to make a career change, she did not wait for the opportunity to come to her. Instead, she contacted coaches directly and made something happen on her own. “I reached out to Coach Hubbard because I wanted to stay in Utah to pursue my master’s degree. I also contacted a few other local schools but UVU just seemed like the right fit for me.” Urtez also felt at home with a fellow coach, Mike Stuerwald, who will also be joining the UVU softball coaching staff. “He is my current coach with Scrap Yard Fast Pitch and he is incredible to work with. Very knowledgeable of the game and has a competitive mindset!”
Urtez currently has a degree in family and consumer studies, as well as a minor in health. Her reason for choosing this career path was because of her love for children and softball. She has been able to intertwine her two loves to create a perfect job path. “I have always worked well with kids. I started working camps at the University of Utah, and fell in love with teaching them the game. Seeing how excited they were when they would get a drill right is the best feeling as a role model that they look up to. Being in a class environment, I believe I can help children believe in the power in imagination and to never be afraid of who they truly want to become in the future.”
With the coming season, Urtez is excited to see what this season has to offer. She believes her team, as well as the coaching staff, has high potential, and she can’t wait to start working with everyone.