In his fourth season as head coach, James Pinkerton has the foundation built and the University of Tulsa softball program headed in the right direction. With 95 victories in his first three seasons, Pinkerton is the only coach in TU history to have a winning overall record (95-87). He has also amassed the most wins of any TU softball coach passing Pattie Holthaus on March 7, 2003 with his 70th career win in a 3-0 victory over Portland State. In 2002, Pinkerton was the first softball coach in the program?s history to be named Western Athletic Conference Coach of the year after TU?s record shattering season.
The Golden Hurricane softball team has also set new heights off the field under Pinkerton. In 2002, the Hurricane recorded the 25th best team grade point average in the country in the NFCA All-Academic rankings. This past softball season, Tulsa posted the 28th best cumulative GPA for a NCAA Division I softball squad with a team GPA of 3.226 in the same poll.
Pinkerton has coached one Verizon Academic All-American, three Verizon All-Academic District VI, 10 NFCA Academic All-Americans and 18 WAC All-Academic selections in his short three year tenure at Tulsa.
The 2003 season proved to be another special season for the Golden Hurricane. Pinkerton led Tulsa to a second consecutive winning season, with a 34-29 record and its first ever national ranking, appearing in the USA Today/NFCA Poll at #35 on February 20, 2003. Furthermore, TU posted its first doubleheader sweep of national power Fresno State and defeated No. 4-Ranked Oklahoma in Norman, Okla., on April 28, 2003, for the program?s first win over the Sooners. The team also set new highs in homeruns (31), walks (128), doubles (74), fewest walks allowed in a season (74), strikeouts (286) and innings pitched (448.2).
In 2002, the Golden Hurricane broke 62 school records, including most wins in a season with 48. Tulsa finished the season with a 48-16 record for a 30.5 game improvement from their 13-42 record in 2001, which was the best in Division I in 2002 and the second best turnaround in NCAA history.
Pinkerton helped turn an anemic Hurricane offense around in 2001 in his first season. TU improved in six offensive categories including runs scored, home runs, runs batted in, batting average, hits and doubles. Defensively, the Hurricane also improved in putouts and assists, double plays and caught stealing percentage.
Pinkerton began is collegiate coaching career as a Hurricane assistant coach from 1995-97. At TU, the Golden Hurricane won 18 games in two seasons before Pinkerton?s arrival the first time. During his three seasons as a TU assistant coach, the Hurricane won 51 games. Pinkerton returned to Tulsa, as head coach, following a two-year stint at the University of Virginia and one year at the University of Louisiana-Monroe.
At Virginia, Pinkerton was UVa?s top assistant coach. He concentrated on coaching hitting and the outfield. He was also involved in the administrative and recruiting duties as Virginia?s recruiting coordinator. Pinkerton helped lead the Cavaliers to the championship game of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament in 1999 and 2000. In both finals the Cavaliers finished runnersup to Florida State.
Prior to his stint at Virginia, he served as an assistant coach at the University of Louisiana-Monroe for one year. At ULM, Pinkerton served as hitting instructor, worked closely with the infield and served as the team?s bench coach. He also assisted with administrative and recruiting duties.
Pinkerton?s ties to Oklahoma reach deeper than The University of Tulsa. He was an assistant coach at Claremore-Sequoyah High School helping that team to a state runner-up finish in 1994. He also coached the Oklahoma Mustangs, an ASA travel team, for four years, guiding them to three national championship berths.
The native of Broken Arrow, Okla., received a bachelor?s degree in history with a minor in secondary education in 1997 from TU. Pinkerton worked on a master?s degree in history at ULM.
Pinkerton and his wife, Dori, reside in Broken Arrow. They have two children, daughter Sarah and son Dane.
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