For Weber State University softball coach Mary Kay Amicone, baseball and softball are more than just a game you play to pass the time. For her and her family, it is their life.
“We have grown up with baseball, it’s in our culture,” Amicone said. “From everything we do to even our family vacations being planned around going to different majorleage games it has made us who we are. Baseball is our family, it is what brings us together.”
After a successful high school career she started her college ball days playing for the Weber State softball team as an outfielder. Shortly after she joined the team Weber State dropped the program, so she transferred to the University of Utah to continue to play. She finished up her career there and earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.
Also while at Utah, she met her husband Marc Amicone, who played baseball for the Utes from 1976-79. He is the current general manager of the Salt Lake Bees, the AAA Minor League Baseball affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels.
Amicone started her coaching career as an assistant coach at Utah, where she spent seven years before she was offered the head coaching position at Brigham Young University. During her three-year tenure at BYU, she became the first Cougars softball coach to be named Coach of the Year after the 2001 season as she coached the team to their first Mountain West Conference Championship.
After BYU, she was hired as the head coach for Salt Lake Community College where she spent nine seasons. During her time as coach, she led the team to three consecutive National Junior College Athletic Association Championship appearances, and in her final season with the team had a record of 53-11 and a 38-6 conference record. While she was coaching softball at SLCC, she also coached baseball for a local high school, becoming the first female high school varsity baseball coach at Jordan High School.
Weber State center fielder Malia Campos followed Amicone from SLCC and is a senior for the Wildcats. For her coming out of high school, she chose her college to be with Amicone.
“In my family, both my sister and my sister-in-law played for Coach Amicone, and for me its a family affair,” Campos said. “Going to college, I knew I wanted to play for her. She just knows how to take all the things I have learned from softball and helped me apply them to my life.”
As a collegiate coach, Amicone has a career record of 536-200-2 including a 103-101 record in four seasons as a Division I coach. At WSU she helped the team get to a 22-25 record and a fifth place finish in the Big Sky conference last season, the best record the team has posted since its reinstatement in 2009.
“It has been amazing coming back to my alma mater to coach,” Amicone said. “This school has such a rich community and culture that it is an honor for me to be coaching here and working with the athletes that are here.”
As much influence as those who have been with the team for a while have gotten from Amicone, even the newest players have seen growth from her tutelage.
“Already I have seen growth and development in my life,” said McKinley Brinkerhoff, a freshmen on the team. “From my defensive game to my hitting, she has helped to bring out the skills in me that I didn’t know I could use. Things like this are the reason why I chose to play for her. I feel like I wouldn’t see this growth anywhere else.”
Campos was offered scholarships and opportunities to play for various teams, but chose to play for SLCC to be with Amicone.
“Even though I was offered scholarships elsewhere, I would have chosen her in a heartbeat,” said Campos. “Ask anyone in the state, they will tell you that there is nobody better. She loves the game, and it makes all the difference.”
Charles can be found tweeting @cbowkstar_91 or eagerly awaiting the spring sport season to begin