Alyssa Nakken, San Francisco Giants
Similar to many coaches on Gabe Kapler’s coaching staff, Alyssa Nakken is light on coaching experience, but she has extensive experience and knowledge of the sport.
Nakken played softball, volleyball, and basketball while attending Woodland High School. After graduating high school in 2008, she attended Sacramento State University where she played softball while earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
On the softball field, she starred as the team’s first baseman while posting a .304 career batting average. She earned All-Pacific Coast Softball Conference honors in each of her four years.
Following her time at Sacramento State, Nakken attended the University of San Francisco and graduated with a Master of Arts in sports management in 2015.
Though she is new to the Giants coaching staff, the former Sacramento State Bee is not new to the organization. While she was in graduate school, Nakken latched on as a baseball operations intern for the Giants starting in 2014.
The 29-year-old filled a variety of roles as part of the baseball operations department, including developing and refining health and wellness programs.
Nakken’s role on Kapler’s coaching staff will emphasize creating a high performance clubhouse culture, so her previous work should carry over into her new role.
Giants manager Gabe Kapler voiced his confidence of Nakken as well as Mark Hallberg in their new roles while talking with reporters:
"“Simply, I think she’s going to be a great coach. Merit and the ability to be a great coach trumps all… Alyssa and Mark are highly respected members of the organization and I’m delighted that they will now focus their talents on helping to build a winning culture in the clubhouse. In every organization, environment affects performance, and baseball clubhouses are no different. That’s why in addition to assisting the rest of the coaching staff on the field, Mark and Alyssa will focus on fostering a clubhouse culture that promotes high performance through, among other attributes, a deep sense of collaboration and team.”"
Based on Kapler’s comments, it is evident that Nakken will play a daily role in improving the team’s success on the field.
In addition, she will also tap into her knowledge and ability of the sport. Teams are only allowed to carry seven coaches in the dugout, but Nakken will be in uniform while working with Giants players on hitting and fielding drills prior to games.
Nakken recognizes that in her new role, she will serve as a pioneer for future women in baseball:
Similar to Nakken, Katie Sowers is paving the way for women in the NFL with her work just 45 miles south of San Francisco in Santa Clara.