Andrea Kenney is the only head coach Cal State Monterey softball has known, and that’s been a great thing for the Otters. She built the program from scratch in 2006 and needed just three seasons to take her team to its first NCAA Tournament appearance. It marked the first of six NCAA Tourney appearances in eight seasons for the Otters, a span that included four CCAA regular season titles (2010, 2012, 2014, 2015) and two CCAA Tournament title (2009, 2015).
In its first season of eligibility NCAA postseason play, Kenney’s 2008 squad became the first CSUMB team to win a CCAA playoff game, defeating eventual NCAA National Champion Humboldt State, 5-0. The Otters went to earn a bid to the NCAA Division II West Regional, becoming the first CSUMB team sport to accomplish that feat. Four Otters — Jessica Boyle, Homa Shaffi, Ashlee Trotter and Shea Olds — earned Worth CCAA Player of the Week in 2008, helping CSUMB rise as high as No. 2 in the West Region polls, the highest ranking attained by a CSUMB team sport at the time.
Kenney’s 2009 team built on that success, bringing home the CSUMB’s first CCAA Championship Banner by winning the conference tournament and earning the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
In 2010, the Otters reached an even higher level, winning the CCAA Championship behind CCAA Co-Pitcher of the Year and Newcomer of the year Diane Ortiz. Senior Jenny Montez, junior Shae Olds and sophomore Jamie Moon each earned All–CCAA recognition while Kenney brought home the first CCAA Coach of the Year award in school history. Moon, Olds and Ortiz became all–region honorees for a team that finished 33–20 (.623) overall, marking the best winning percentage in school history.
After a slow start preempted a postseason run in 2011, the Otters returned to the winner’s circle in 2012, climbing as high as No. 6 nationally while winning a share of the second CCAA Championship. The Otters just missed out on becoming the first team ever to win the CCAA Tournament and regular season titles in the same season, falling in the tournament final, but did earn the No. 2 seed in the region and the right to host the first NCAA postseason event in school history.
Individually, the Otters enjoyed their best–ever season in 2012, as Jamie Moon, Cori Reinhardt, Jackie Serna and Nina Villanueva became the first softball All–Americans in school history. Moon went on to earn Capital One Academic All–America® laurels, becoming the first Otter in any sport to be so honored.
Prior to her current stint in Monterey, Kenney was the head coach at New Mexico Highlands University. In three years, her players won 21 All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference awards, 10 RMAC All–Academic certificates and five all-region nods. The Cowgirls finished as RMAC runners–up 1999 and 2000 with Kenney earning the RMAC Coach of the Year award in 1999.
Kenney left Highlands for Southern California where she spent five seasons as the head coach at the Claremont–Mudd–Scripps colleges. While there, she produced 11 first team all–conference athletes and four NCAA Division III all–region selections. In 2004, CMS finished runner–up in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and set the school record for victories.
A native of Santa Barbara, Kenney earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of San Diego. She also holds a master’s in physical education from Azusa Pacific University and a master’s in instructional education from National University. With all this said she believes her daughter Kristin Kenney, a recent graduate of UC Santa Cruz, to be her greatest accomplishment.
Kenney has one daughter, Kristen (KK), a former volleyball student–athlete and graduate of UC Santa Cruz. She resides in Marina.