NORMAL, Ill. – Illinois State Director of Athletics Kyle Brenan announced Sunday evening that the longtime assistant coach of Redbird softball Tina Kramos was named the program’s new head coach. Kramos, who has served as the program’s senior associate head coach since 2017, is entering her 23rd season as a member of the ISU softball staff and first as a head coach.
“We are incredibly excited to have Tina leading our softball program into its next era,” said the Illinois State athletics director. Kyle Brenan said. “Tina has been integral to the success of the program over the past 20 seasons and will continue to uphold the high standards that have been set for Redbird softball. During her time on staff, she has recruited and mentored some of the best in the history of the program and we know that will only continue if she leads the way as a head coach.”
Kramos helped manage all aspects of the softball program, while serving as Illinois State’s third-longest-serving starting coach. She has consistently shown her ability to coach Redbirds hitters and outfielders among the best in the Missouri Valley Conference, and is now looking to return the Redbirds to the top of the MVC standings.
“I would like to thank President Kinzy, Kyle Brenan, Leanna Border and Melinda Fisher for the opportunity to serve Illinois State University and Redbird Softball as their next head coach,” Kramos said. I am truly humbled and honored to lead such an incredible group of young women as we continue to build on the tradition of winning on the field, in the classroom and in our community.
As an assistant coach at ISU, Kramos coached three All-Americans (Amber Smith – 2006; Kara Nelson – 2007, 2010; Abby Olson – 2010) and was instrumental in freshman Kara Nelson who won the 2007 Valley Player of the Year award, the first time in conference history that a freshman has been presented with this award. Nelson went on to earn a second MVC Player of the Year in 2011 under Kramos, while Seekers Elizabeth Kay won the award in 2013 and Jordan de los Reyes won the award in 2017.
Kramos has also framed 10 NFCA All-Region selections since 2017, including one last season when Emma Olson earned First Team All-Region honors. During the 2022 season, Olson and junior Dayna Kennedy thrived at the plate under Kramos’ tutelage. Olson earned a spot in the Redbird record books with 16 single-season doubles, fifth in program history, and Kennedy hit a team leading 12 homers, the most by a Redbird player since Los Angeles. Reyes reached 19 in 2017.
In 2017, Kramos coached seven Redbirds to MVC All-Conference honors, for a total of eight for the year, which was the third most in program history. She guided Jordan de los Reyes to the top of the ISU record books as one of the best hitters in program history, while the Redbirds led the Valley in runs scored, hits, RBIs and homers. .
In 2013, Kramos guided the Redbird offense to Valley-leading marks in points per game (5.56), batting average (.287) and on-base percentage (.397), the latter also a program record. only one season. The campaign also saw Kay and Jhavon Hamilton culminate their careers after four years teaching at Kramos. Kay left as the RBI program’s all-time leader, with 166, while Hamilton became just the fourth member of the club’s 200-hit program, with 206.
Under his leadership in 2011, the Redbirds led the Missouri Valley Conference in nine offensive categories in smashing 70 home runs, the second most in league history, and posting a school-high single-season .515 slugging percentage. . Kramos coached ISU Athletics Hall of Famer Amber Smith, who had five of Illinois State’s career records before graduating in 2009, while her compatriot from ISU Hall of Famer Nelson set ISU single-season hits (90) and runs scored (59) in 2007 and currently holds the school career batting record (.409).
Kramos led Illinois State to one of the most successful offensive seasons in Missouri Valley Conference history in 2007, when the Redbirds set the league single-season home run record with 83 outings. -returns, 32 more than the previous record of 51. also set school ratings for slugging percentage (.509), runs scored (329), hits (489) and RBI (308).
Prior to coming to Illinois State, Kramos coached softball from 1995 to 1997 at Colorado-Colorado Springs before spending three years on Nicholls State’s coaching staff.
Prior to her coaching career, Kramos was a member of the Missouri State softball team from 1990-1995 and was a two-time first-team All-Valley selection. A solid hitter and outfielder with the Bears, Kramos still ranks first in MSU history in single-season assists (152) and second in career assists (487). In the batting box, Kramos drove in 94 runs during his four-year career at MSU, a mark that is fourth-best all-time in school history. She was inducted into the MSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2004.
Kramos continued her softball career beyond coaching, as she was selected for the Greek national team in the summer of 2002. Winning multiple championships, Kramos played for the team that won the Greek championship. Europe 2003 in Italy, while the Greek national team took second place. place the honors in 2005 at the European Championships in Prague. She played with the Greek Olympic softball team at the Athens Olympics in 2004 and the Women’s Softball World Championships in 2006.
In 2015, she was selected as the head coach of the Greek national team which participated in the European Championships in Rosemalen, the Netherlands. Kramos also played for the East Peoria Avanti (1995) and Michigan Cruise (1996-2000), both teams in the ASA Women’s Majors.
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