OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - The Oakland Athletics have named Justine Siegal as a guest instructor for their organization, making her the first female coach in MLB history.
Siegal spoke to KTVU by phone on Wednesday where she explained that she was the one to approach the team a few months ago.
“I’ve wanted to be a coach since I was 16 years old,” Siegal said. “I’ve worked toward this moment, but the outpouring of support has just been incredibly heartwarming.”
According to the Oakland A’s, Siegal will be a guest instructor with the team and will assist the A’s player development staff both on and off the field at the A’s 2015 Instructional League in Mesa, Arizona this October.
“I’m a rookie coach so I’ll be doing whatever they need,” Siegal. “They’ve asked me to do some classroom work using my Ph.D. in sports psychology.”
Siegal holds a Ph.D. in sport and exercise psychology from Springfield College and an M.A. from Kent State University in Sport Studies. She earned her B.A. from St. Olaf College in 1998.
She was the first woman to coach men’s baseball professional in 2009 for the independent baseball team, the Brockton Rox. She also served as an assistant coach for the baseball team at Springfield College.
In 2011, Siegal was also the first woman to throw batting practice for six Major League teams in 2011. She completed the Major League Scouting Bureau scout school the same year.
As the founder of the non-profit Baseball for All, Siegal has provided an opportunity for girls to play baseball. She said she would love to bring girl leagues to the Bay Area.
“To be a role model, to be in a position to make some change, I’m really humbled,” she added.