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 Coaching Staff

Kristi Villar | Assistant Coach

Kristi Villar joined the Jackrabbit softball staff in July 2017 as assistant softball coach, bringing more than nine years of collegiate coaching experience to the program.

Now in her second season at SDSU, Villar works primarily with the team’s hitters and helped the Jacks raise their team batting average by sixty points (.322) in her first season at State. The team won a Division I record 37 games and reached the postseason for the second time in school history (first time at Division I).

Villar spent seven years at Northern State (2010-17), where she won over 160 games while building a program that had previously never won more than 20 games before her arrival. The Oakdale, Minnesota native won 20 or more games four times, and helped the team to its first 30-win season while earning 2015 NSIC Coach of the Year honors.

While at Northern, she worked with the program's first All-Region pick, five All-Conference selections, five gold glove winners and an NSIC Newcomer of the Year.

Outside of the lines, Villar took an active role in improving the team's academic performances, raising the team grade point average by a full point (to a 3.8 in 2016-17) over her seven years while grooming 58 Academic All-League awardees. Her team's GPA has ranked in the top five of NCAA Division II the last four years as well.

Prior to NSU, she worked for two seasons (2007-09) as a graduate assistant coach at Southwest Minnesota State, where she helped the Mustangs to consecutive NSIC championships and worked with one All-American, three All-Region players and seven All-NSIC picks.

Villar taught and coached at Lennox High School during the 2009-10 academic year, assisting the girls' basketball and softball squads.

A standout shortstop at Augustana College, Villar played under NFCA Hall of Fame coach Sandy Jerstad for one season before continuing her stellar play under a new staff. She earned All-North Central Conference honors four times in her career and led the team in hitting as a junior and senior. She was the NCC Freshman of the Year in 2003 and was a two-time All-Region performer. In her final season, she led the team to the NCC Conference Championship and an NCAA Tournament berth.

Villar earned her bachelor of arts in mathematics from Augustana in 2006, and a master's degree in educational leadership from SMSU in 2010.


Kristi Villar | Assistant Coach

South Dakota State's Krista Wood announced August 8, 2018 the hiring of Kiki Stokes as assistant softball coach.

"We're ecstatic to have Kiki join our program," Wood said. "We were impressed from the start of this hiring process with Kiki's knowledge of the game, her work ethic and attention to detail, and her charismatic personality that will bring energy to our team every day.

"Kiki will do a great job handling the Jackrabbit defense and working with our slap hitters. We're excited for the upcoming season and for what she'll add to our program."

Stokes, a standout outfielder for Nebraska from 2013-16 with a career .350 average, was a two-time All-American for the Huskers (2015, 2016) and holds the school record in runs scored (200) while sitting third in Nebraska history for walks (120) and fifth in hits (233).

"I am absolutely thrilled to join this program and excited about this next phase of my softball career," Stokes said. "I would like to thank Coach Wood and the administration for the opportunity at this amazing university. This community supports SDSU student-athletes across the board, and it is such a welcoming family atmosphere I cannot wait to be a part of."

She helped the program to a seventh-place finish at the 2013 NCAA Women's College World Series, and later in her career set school records with 66 runs, 17 hit-by-pitches and a .532 on-base percentage in her junior season. As a senior, she became the third-ever Husker to hit over .400 in consecutive seasons, using a career-high 74 hits to tally a .409 average in her final year.

In addition to the All-American honors, Stokes was a two-time NFCA All-Midwest Region First Team selection, earned All-Big Ten First Team honors twice and served as the Huskers' team captain her final two seasons.

Last season, she worked as a volunteer coach for Nebraska, coordinating the outfield defense in addition to assisting coaches with opponent scouting.

From Olathe, Kansas, Stokes was the No. 6 overall pick by the Houston Scrap Yard Dawgs in the 2016 National Pro Fastpitch league and led the team to its first NPF Championship in 2017. She recently completed her third season with the professional franchise.

Stokes graduated from Nebraska with a bachelor's degree in child, youth and family studies in May 2017.

What Others are Saying

Rhonda Revelle, Nebraska head softball coach:

"KiKi Stokes is a talented young coach who will do an exceptional job for Coach Wood and the South Dakota State University Softball program. She is passionate about the game and teaching young people, and she has an infectious personality that will infuse positive energy every single day. KiKi is a spirited, high character individual who will take a lot of pride in being a Jackrabbit."
 
Jimmy Kolatis, UAB head softball coach:

"Kiki is a great young lady that has had an outstanding career as a player. She has had the opportunity to compete at the highest level and will bring a wealth of knowledge from her playing experience."