Tiala Tagaloa enters her 10th year as an assistant coach for the NM State softball team and has aided in the program’s success in the Rodolph era.
Her main responsibilities include day-to-day operations within the team, recruiting, traveling preparations and on-field direction.
Serving as the first-base coach for the Aggies, Tagaloa assisted in guiding NM State to a second-place finish in the Western Athletic Conference in 2014 with a 31-23 season record. The Aggies were 10-4 in conference play and received a No. 1 seed in the WAC tournament. She coached the Aggie base runners to 43 stolen bases and a team 325 runs on the season.
Tagaloa helped the Aggies to success both in the field and from the plate. Offensively, the Aggies had a .315 average from the plate and a .512 slugging percentage. NM State had 441 hits, 142 extra base hits and 285 RBI, compared to opponents 402 hits, 116 multiple base hits and 221 RBI. The Aggies also had seven players named Hitter of the Week and had eight players named to the All-WAC Team. On the defensive end of the field NM State had a team average .947 fielding percentage with four players at 1.000 percent. Only two players were under .900, with a .889 and a .857.
In 2013, Tagaloa assisted NM State to a second-place finish in the Western Athletic Conference with a 37-20 season record. The Aggies were 16-5 in conference play and held the longest winning streak in program history with 11 wins. The record-setting win for NM State came against No. 17 Arizona (Apr. 9). The feat topped the team’s previous record of 10 that was set during the historical 2011 season when the Aggies won the WAC title and made their first ever NCAA appearance.
Tagaloa aided in the success of sophomore Staci Rodriguez, who finished the year as the 2013 WAC Player of the Year with 20 home runs, which led the conference and was tied for 10th best in the nation. With those home runs, Rodriguez brought around 63 RBI, which was also a WAC best. She also guided senior Amber Olive to lead the WAC with 79 hits and 41 runs scored. As a team, NM State led the WAC with a .447 slugging percentage, 239 team RBI, 437 hits and 254 runs scored. The team was second in the league with a .288 batting average and
The 2013 team produced six all-conference players, two NFCA All-Pacific Region accolades and five weeks of WAC Pitcher/Hitter of the Week honors.
Academically, the 2013 Aggies had seven named NFCA All-America Scholar Athletes, while Olive found her way onto the CoSIDA Academic All-America and All-District teams and was the second Aggie softball player to be honored with the Stan Bates Award, which recognizes the WAC’s top female scholar athlete.
Tagaloa helped the 2012 Aggies to a 34-39 overall record with 5-16 in conference play. NM State started the season on a six-game winning streak before the team’s first loss of the season came to the hands of the no. 24 ranked team in the country, Nebraska.
Despite key mid-season injuries, the Aggies would go on to face 12 top-25 programs throughout the season and come up with two wins against the ranked opponents. Rodolph coached the Aggies to wins over No. 23 and Rio Grande Rival New Mexico as well as No. 14 Arizona.
With the help of Tagaloa, NM State won the final two WAC series of the season, giving the team a senior Shaleese Javillo and Briana Tovio-Asato were each named to the All-WAC second team.
Tagaloa helped the Aggies set 11 team records in 2011 including most wins (44), best winning percentage (.727), most runs in a season (423), most hits in a season (577), most RBI in a season (375) and most home runs in a season (82).
NM State matched its program-best batting average of .341 set in 2009 when the Aggies led the NCAA, in 2011 that average ranked third overall. The Crimson and White were fifth nationally in slugging percentage at .551. The Aggies’ 6.93 runs per game ranked fifth in the country and NM State ranked sixth in the NCAA with 1.34 home runs per game.
Senior Hoku Nohara led the nation in 2011 as the NCAA statistical champion for home runs per game and slugging percentage. Nohara blasted a single-season record of 24 home runs for the year, averaging 0.43 per game to lead the country. She also led the nation in slugging percentage at 1.007. Nohara also set the NM State and WAC career home run record at 64.
She also ranked third nationally in RBI per game, walks per game and on-base percentage. After the season Nohara became the first Aggie to sign a professional contract to play in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league.
In 2010, the Aggies flourished nationally in offensive categories again. NM State placed No. 18 in slugging percentage (0.495), No. 19 in batting average (0.317) No. 20 in scoring (5.84) and No. 21 in home runs per game (1.13) as 16 team and individual records were broken or tied.
The 2009 season was one of the most productive season in the program’s history to that point. Not only did the Crimson and White smash 18 team and individual records, but the powerful Aggie bats capped the year off ranked No. 1 in the nation in batting average (.341).
It is the first time a WAC team has led the country in that category. It was a WAC single-season record for the Aggies and tied the 1998 Fresno State team for the highest team batting average in WAC history.
Additionally, NM State was also ranked seventh in scoring (6.09), seventh in slugging percentage (.543) and 10th in home runs per game (1.26) throughout the country.
Tagaloa assisted the team in capturing six team records, which was batting average (.341), runs scored (329), RBI (314), home runs (68), total bases (794) and slugging percentage (.542). Individually, she guided the team in setting eight single-season individual offensive records and four all-time career records. Most notably, freshman sensation Tiare Jennings set five single-season records and Kristi Randall notched four all-time career records.
In 2008, the team reached a multitude of achievements, including either setting or tying 38 NM State all-time, single season, individual, game or career records while playing the most demanding schedule in the history of the program.
Tagaloa graduated cum laude from Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach, Fla., in 2005. The native of Diamond Bar, Calif., earned Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) All-Academic Honors and helped the Wildcats to consecutive MEAC Championships, and NCAA regional appearances.
As a student assistant coach at Bethune-Cookman in 2005, Tagaloa helped guide the Wildcats to another MEAC title, as well as an NCAA regional title as BCC outlasted Central Florida, South Florida and host Florida to advance to the Super Regionals against Texas.
Tagaloa transferred to Bethune-Cookman after a stellar junior college career at Midland (Texas) College, where she played for current Aggie associate head coach Cat Heifner. There she earned NFCA All-America honors while leading her team to consecutive NJCAA World Series appearances. Tagaloa was the Texas JUCO Offensive Player of the Year and she led her team in RBI, doubles and home runs.
She graduated in 2005 from BCU with her bachelor’s in physical education with a minor in recreation and leisure services and received her master’s from NM State in education curriculum and instruction in 2011.