DJ Sanchez steps down as UNO softball coach to focus on family

DJ Sanchez, right, spent two seasons as UNO softball coach.

UNO Athletic Director Trev Alberts has high hopes for the future of Maverick softball.

That won’t change, although the coach of the program will for the second time in three years.

UNO announced Friday that former Oklahoma All-American DJ Sanchez is stepping down after two seasons at the helm to focus on her family. The search for her replacement will begin immediately.

“We were disappointed, but certainly respect and understand her desire,” Alberts said. “She’s got a young family and wants to focus more on being a mother and spending more of her time in that area.”

Sanchez was hired in August of 2016 following the retirement of longtime UNO coach Jeanne Scarpello. Sanchez had previously spent four seasons as the coach at NAIA St. Gregory’s University in Oklahoma.

The Mavs posted a 45-61 record in two years under Sanchez, including an 11-17 mark in Summit League play. UNO (20-31) wrapped up its recent season last Friday by going 2-2 at its conference tourney. The Maverick roster included players recruited by both Scarpello and Sanchez as well as a few players who transferred to UNO during the holiday break from St. Gregory’s, which closed its doors after the fall.

Sanchez was unavailable for further comment, but did make a brief statement in a press release.

“I appreciate the opportunity that Trev Alberts and the university have given me to be a part of this athletic department but at this time in my life, I would like to focus more on my family,” the former coach said. “I am grateful for my time in Omaha, and I am looking forward to the next exciting chapter.”

Alberts thanked Sanchez for her two seasons at UNO. Prior to arriving in Omaha, she had taken St. Gregory’s to the postseason four times and advanced it to the NAIA World Series twice. Alberts was hoping for similar success for the Mavericks with Sanchez. He believes that can still come without her.

“We sponsor sports, hopefully, that we can take a leadership position in the Summit League and that we can make a local and regional impact,” Alberts said. “I think our vision for softball really hasn’t changed in the sense that we really feel like we can make an impact. ... We’ll be OK. We’ll get a good coach.”

Tony covers UNO sports, the Omaha Storm Chasers and boxing for The World-Herald. Follow him on Twitter @BooneOWH. Phone: 402-444-1027.

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