Tracey Kee Announces The Hiring Of Kozlowski As Associate Head Coach
Natalie Kozlowski enters her third year as associate head coach with North Texas softball. She rejoined head coach Tracey Kee in 2015 after serving as the Director of Education for the National Fastpitch Coaches Association in Louisville, Kentucky.
In year two, she coached Kelli Schkade to first-team All-Conference USA honors as part of her record-breaking season. Schkade set the school record with a 19-game hitting streak to open the season and also set the single-season school record with 52 runs scored and tied the school record with 16 doubles.
As a team, North Texas hit for a .279 batting average, tied for the best mark in school history, and reached base at a .353 clip, the second-best mark in school history, and also set the single-season school record with 81 stolen bases.
In her first season with the Mean Green, she coached Kat Strunk to her second career All-Conference selection and Taylor Schoblocher to Amateur Softball Association/USA Softball National Player of the Week honors, the program’s first national award.
Under Kozlowski’s tutelage, Schoblocher set single-season school records for on-base percentage (.477) and slugging percentage (.833) and finished with the second-best single-season batting average (.389) and second-most home runs (17) and total bases (120). As a team, the Mean Green fielded at a .978 clip, tops in C-USA and school history and the fifth-best in the nation.
Prior to her stint at the NFCA, Kozlowski spent 12 years with the East Carolina Pirates, including the last six as an associate head coach, working primarily with the offense and outfielders. In addition to her on-field work, Kozlowski was the Pirates' recruiting coordinator, scouting director and conditioning coach.
There, she coached alongside head coach Tracey Kee and also coached fellow assistant Christina Merrida, who played there from 2007-10.
Kozlowski was part of two NFCA Mideast Region Coaching Staff of the Year awards. The staff she was a part of guided the Pirates to consecutive NCAA Tournament regional final appearances and Conference USA Tournament championships while capturing the program's first C-USA regular season crown in 2010.
In addition to sharing the NFCA regional honor, Kozlowski has been an invaluable asset to Kee when the latter was named the C-USA Coach-of-the-Year in 2005, 2009 and 2010. From 2001-12, the Pirates amassed a record of 482-280-1with Kozlowski as an assistant or associate head coach. In eight of those seasons, the team reached 40 or more victories.
Prior to arriving at East Carolina, Kozlowski was an assistant to the softball team for one year and to the basketball team for two at Towson University in Towson, Md. She also spent two years as an assistant with the George Mason University softball program in Fairfax, Va., before her stint at Towson. Kozlowski gained additional experience coaching softball and basketball for three years at Smith Academy High School in Hatfield, Mass.
Kozlowski earned a Bachelor of Science degree in exercise science from Hofstra University, where she was a member of the basketball and softball teams for four seasons. On the basketball court, she led the Pride in assists as a junior with 78 after being named the team's most improved player a year earlier.
She played softball for one of the most recognized coaches in the game, Bill Edwards, who was inducted into the NFCA Hall of Fame in 2009 and is a nine-time NFCA Region Coach-of-the-Year. Kozlowski's 1992 team finished the year as the regular-season East Coast Conference champion, league-tournament champion and No. 3 ranked squad in the Northeast Region. As a freshman, she was honored as the most improved player. Her senior year, Kozlowski was named an all-conference selection while also earning honors as a District I GTE Academic All-America. She also earned the Dr. Sylvia J. Giallombardo Award for academic and athletic excellence, one of the most prestigious awards given at Hofstra.
After graduating from Hofstra, Kozlowski enrolled at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst where she earned a Master of Science degree in exercise physiology in 1995.
In 1996, the Elmira, N.Y., native was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame at Notre Dame High School. During her four years at the institution, she earned 12 varsity letters as a member of the basketball, softball, soccer, track and volleyball squads.