WCWS History: 1989 – Teresa Wilson makes history

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During the 1983 Women’s College World Series, the Missouri Tigers were led by pitcher Teresa Wilson. Despite the Tigers’ playing in just two games of the tournament, Wilson finished among the top hurlers in the World Series, sporting a 0.40 ERA, while opposing batters hit just .167 against her.

An All-American selection that same year, Wilson finished her playing career with more than 100 career wins and fifty-five career shutouts from the circle. She would go on to be the first softball player to be inducted into the Mizzou Hall of Fame.

Just six years after her WCWS debut in the circle, Wilson returned to the World Series stage as a coach and made history in doing so. Then in her fourth year as the head coach at Oregon in 1989, Wilson helmed the Ducks to a 3-1 showing in the Regional round and the first WCWS appearance in program history. When the Ducks took the field for their opener against Cal Poly Pomona, Wilson officially became the first person to play and coach in the NCAA’s Women’s College World Series.

The Ducks finished that 1989 campaign with a 54-18 overall record, including a 1-2 showing in the World Series, while Wilson was named the NSCA National Coach of the Year. Following the season, she became the head coach at Minnesota, where she spent two years, before starting the program at Washington.

In eleven years as the Huskies’ head coach, Wilson’s squad reached the 50-win plateau six times and played in the Women’s College World Series on six occasions, finishing as the national runners-up in 1996 and 1999.

In the years following Wilson’s historical feat, just seven other coaches joined the fraternity of having both played and coached in the WCWS. In 1990, Sue Lilley and Shan McDonald accomplished the feat in the same year, though both had played in the AIAW Women’s College World Series in the early 1980s. In 1998, Texas head coach Connie Clark became the first individual since Wilson to have both played and coached specifically in the NCAA Women’s College World Series.

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