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MJ Knighten named San Diego head coach

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San Diego has selected MJ Knighten as the program’s new head coach.

Knighten spent the 2020 season as an assistant on the Toreros’ staff under Jessica Pistole, and is now being elevated to the head coaching role following Pistole’s departure earlier in the summer.

After celebrating her 25th birthday in June, Knighten is the youngest active head coach in Division I softball. She is the 6th head coach in USD program history, and the first black female head coach in any sport within the San Diego athletic department.

Prior to joining the San Diego staff last summer, Knighten spent one year as a graduate assistant at Nebraska, her alma mater, as well as a single season in a similar position at Wichita State. During her playing career at Nebraska, Knighten was a four-time All-Big Ten selection and earned All-American honors in 2016. The Huskers’ starting third baseman for her entire collegiate career, Knighten finished her Huskers’ career ranked in the top ten in program history in ten different categories.

The Toreros’ program finished the 2020 season with a 15-12 overall record; the season was highlighted by a pair of victories over Villanova. Under Knighten’s guidance, the team’s offense recorded a cumulative .280 batting average and a .389 slugging percentage.

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