SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Gabby Gomez Sosa will take over the head coaching duties of the Missouri State University field hockey program effective immediately, the University announced Thursday. The native of Uruguay has been an assistant on the Bears staff for the past two seasons under Dawn Callahan and becomes the program's sixth head coach in its 40-year history.
Callahan announced her resignation from the post due to family reasons on November 15, after 13 years at the helm.
"I am honored and very thankful for this incredible opportunity," said Gomez Sosa, who is a 2005 graduate of Missouri State and was a four-year field hockey letter winner for the Bears. "I look forward to and am excited to step back on the field with the student-athletes and get back to work."
In her two seasons on the Bears' coaching staff, she has helped coach three players to All-Mid-American Conference recognition and two top-eight goal scorers in the conference. The team also improved their overall and MAC win totals from 2009 to 2010.
"We are excited about Gabby leading our program into the future," Director of Athletics Kyle Moats said. "As a former student-athlete, she understands what it takes to be successful and knows how to lead our players."
When Gomez Sosa completed her MSU playing career in 2004, she was one of the most highly-decorated field hockey athletes in school history. She was named to the NorPac All-Conference team all four seasons and won the conference's Rookie of the Year Award in 2001.
From 2002-04, she was named to the National Field Hockey Coaches Association All-West Region team, and her senior season she became the first Bear honored on the NFHCA All-America Team (third team). Gomez Sosa was a two-time team captain and remains the only Missouri State player ever to receive the distinction from the NFHCA.
Throughout her career, she played just as well in the postseason as she did in the regular season. She was named the NorPac Tournament Most Valuable Player in 2003 and made the All-Tournament team in 2003 and 2004. She was also picked as Missouri State Most Valuable Player during her senior season.
Her 55 career points are sixth on the Bears all-time list, while her 15 assists place her eighth. As a senior, Gomez Sosa posted eight assists, the eighth-highest single-season total in Bears history. She also scored 20 goals in her four years playing under Callahan, earning 67 starts in 71 matches.
She is fluent in Spanish, French and English. Gomez Sosa resides in Springfield with her husband Tony Piazza, a former MSU baseball player, and their son, Julian.