Though Brittany Gaston has only been coaching softball for the short period of three years, her recent hiring as an assistant softball coach has been viewed as yet another improvement for the Boise State program.
Gaston, a former All-Southern Conference for Appalachian State, where she is second in school history in hits, came to the Broncos after spending a year as the head coach of Ashley High School in Charleston, SC. She also spent two years as a graduate assistant for the softball powerhouse, the University of Tennessee.
In her time at Tennessee, the Lady Vols won the 2011 SEC Championship and qualified for the College World Series in 2012.
Gaston will work with the Broncos outfielders and serve as the hitting coach.
She hopes she can use the lessons she learned at Tennessee and at the high school level to keep building upon a Broncos program that was started in 2007.
Working with a developed program like the Lady Vols allowed Gaston a behind-the-scenes look at why Tennessee was such a dominant programs—something she hopes she can use to put Boise State softball on the map.
“It was fun being part of the attention. The Tennessee program was already developed when I got there so it was great to be apart of a successful team,” Gaston said.
“At college, you just work at refining their skills because they’re already skilled. So bringing that aspect and those things that I learned at Tennessee I hope to
bring to here,” Gaston said.
After her brief, two year stint with the Lady Vols, Gaston found herself as the head coach at Ashley High School —an experience that was not always easy.
After going from a dominant program where she was coaching motivated athletes that held a passion for softball, it was a rough transition for Gaston to coach athletes that did not hold that same level of passion.
“It was difficult working with girls that were forced to play softball by their parents,” Gaston said. “Their work ethic was not always the greatest.”
Despite the struggles, Gaston appreciated the experience and learned many lessons from coaching at the high school level.
She even ended a decade long playoff drought in her only season at Ashley.
“I had a great experience, don’t get me wrong,” Gaston said. “I enjoyed working with the girls and everyone, but it was definitely a big change going from a highly successful program to the high school.”
After spending her life living in the southeast, the move to Boise was not a hard decision for Gaston because she understood the opportunity was one that she could not pass up if she wanted to move back into the college coaching ranks.
“It wasn’t difficult for me at all because I knew I had to go where the job takes me,” Gaston said. “Unfortunately in coaching you can’t really decide where you want to coach, but I know Boise State is a great program and I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to work at program like this.”
Gaston’s youth is something she believes will allow her to be able to empathize with the Broncos’ athletes and aid her in becoming the positive coach she wants to become.
“I feel that I can relate to the players in different situations in games and in practice,” Gaston said. “So when they’re under pressure in an at bat, I feel like I understand how to talk to them and counsel them in bouts of anxiety or stress. Being able to empathize with them is the main thing.”