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SBCC Softball Coach Paula Congleton Leaving for Her Alma Mater, New Mexico

Dr. Paula Congleton resigned as head coach of the SBCC softball team to accept the head softball coaching position at the University of New Mexico, her alma mater.

Paula Congleton coached softball at SBCC for 19 years. Click to view larger
Paula Congleton coached softball at SBCC for 19 years. (SBCC photo)

Congleton had been the head coach at SBCC for the last 19 years, compiling a 354-322 overall record and 188-160 in the Western State Conference. She led the Vaqueros to four playoff appearances and a trip to the Southern Cal Super Regional in 2016.

Congleton was born and raised in Albuquerque, N.M.

“My extended family, two brothers and mom, still reside in Albuquerque and I’d always thought about going back there,” Congleton said Wednesday. “Throughout the years, I have followed the Lobos and each time I return home for visits, I go to Lobo events, including Softball Alumni events. So to be able to go back to where it all began, is a dream come true.

“They called me asking if I would be interested in the head coaching position. Of course, I said ‘Yes’ and started the interview process. This opportunity has brought an amazing full-circle moment to my career and life.”

Congleton received her B.S. in Physical Education from the University of New Mexico. As a first baseman for the Lobos, she was a four-time Scholar Athlete (3.89 GPA) and a three-time All-American. While completing her Master's degree in Curriculum Development, she was a Graduate Assistant with the Lobo softball team. In 2009, she received her Doctorate in Educational Administration.

Congleton’s best year at SBCC came in 2011, when the team went 31-7 and won its only WSC championship. Along with longtime assistant coach Bill Hilliard, she was named WSC, Southern Cal and NFCA National Coach of the Year. A three-time WSC Coach of the Year, she guided the Vaqueros to their first Southern Cal Regional playoff series win in 2016 and their first trip to the Super Regional. That team had the second-best record in school history (30-14).

“Paula has provided excellent leadership to our softball program and our health/physical education classes in her 20 years at SBCC,” said athletic director Ellen O’Connor. “Paula's dedication to developing student potential and supporting student success was evident in the achievements of her teams and the development of our Academic Achievement Zone for student-athletes.

“While we will miss Paula, we are excited for her return to her alma mater and wish her the very best in her new position.”

SBCC will begin the search for a new head softball coach immediately.

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