James M. Kling is now in his eighth season in charge of the OLLU softball team.
In 2017, the Saints finished fourth in the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC). They won the most games in the postseason in history after defeating the University of the Southwest 4-3, Huston-Tillotson University 4-0 and Langston University 4-1. In the semifinals game, the Saints lost to the University of Houston-Victoria. They finished at 25-22 overall and 14-12 in conference. Under Kling, the team is 201-137-1 and 110-57 in conference.
The team earned their third consecutive NAIA Scholar Team and National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Academic Team awards. Taylor Doege and Kristina Tiffany were named to the NFCA All-Region Second Team. Jana Arena, Lauren Garza and Doege were named NAIA Scholar Athletes.
Earning All-Conference honors were First Team - Doege, Brittany Martinez and Tiffany; Second Team - Destiny Vega.
In 2016, the Saints concluded their season as the RRAC runner-up. They lost to LSU-Alexandria in the championship game 0-6. Their overall record was 28-20 and 19-9 in conference.
Under Kling, Taylor Doege earned NAIA All-American and NFCA NAIA All-American honors. She also was named the RRAC Player of the Year. Brittany Martinez was named RRAC Defensive Player of the Year, and along with Doege and Martinez, Victoria Balderas was named to the All-Conference Team. Lauren Guerra received CoSIDA Academic All-District honors.
In 2015, the Saints finished second in the regular season with a RRAC record of 19-5. They qualified for the conference tournament and lost in the fifth game to end their season with an overall record of 39-14. Kling was named the RRAC Coach of the Year, and his players received a wide range of awards: NFCA NAIA All-Region - Katrisha Arocha, Taylor Doege, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Brittany Stone; CoSIDA Academic All American - Stone; All-Conference - Arocha, Doege, Maegan Ramirez, Rodriguez, Stone, Kristina Tiffany; RRAC Scholar Athletes - Jana Arena, Arocha, Doege, Lauren Garza, Lauren Guerra, Jessele Perez, Megan Perez, Ramirez, Rodriguez, Stone, Krystal Zamora. The team was named a NAIA Scholar Team and a NFCA Scholar Team. In addition, Stone was named OLLU Big Blue Top Saint in 2015.
In 2014, the Saints made history after winning their first-ever RRAC Regular Season and Conference Tournament. The Saints qualified for the first round of the NAIA Softball National Championship. They faced Oklahoma Baptist University and lost 3-2. The Saints lost the second game of the double elimination tournament to Ottawa University 7-2. The Saints ended their season with an overall 39-12-1 record and 18-2 in the conference. Six of his players were named to the All-Conference Team (Katrisha Arocha, Larissa Gutierrez, Amanda Hinojosa, Ashley Perez, Elizabeth Rodriguez and Brittany Stone) with Arocha receiving Newcomer and Pitcher of the Year. In addition, Arocha and Hinojosa were named to the First Team of the NFCA All-Region Team, while Brittany Stone made her third appearance on the Second Team. Arocha became the first ever OLLU softball player named to the NAIA Softball All-American that same season.
In 2013, the Saints ended their season with a 15-32 overall record and 6-18 in the conference.
In the 2012 season, the Saints finished the season as tournament runner-up. The Saints beat Northwood University 2-1 to advance to the second round. The Saints then faced Texas Wesleyan University in the quarterfinals round, but lost 1-2 after nine innings of play. The Saints were then paired up against Northwood in the semifinals round, and they won 2-0. The win earned the Saints a berth to the championship game against Texas Wesleyan, who had not lost a game. The Saints needed to beat the Rams twice in order to win the tournament, but they lost 2-5 to end their season with a 28-18 overall record and an 18-6 conference record.
During his first campaign at the helm of the Saints in 2011, Kling lead the team to a third place finish in the Red River Athletic Conference Tournament after a 16-5 conference record. Four of his athletes, Kaitlyn Bourg, Hannah Godina, Brooke Hernandez and Tiffany Stritz, were named to the RRAC All-Conference Team. Godina was also named Newcomer of the Year.
Kling served three years as a volunteer assistant and three years as a full-time assistant at the St. Mary's University in San Antonio prior to his arrival at OLLU. His teams have reached the regional tournament five of those six years and the Elite Eight in 2005. Thirty student-athletes he has helped coach have earned All-Heartland Conference honors and 10 have been named All-American.
At St. Mary's University, Kling also was the head cross-country coach. During his first season, he led the team to a third-place finish at the conference championship tournament. His cross-country team had the highest grade point average of all athletic teams at St. Mary's.
Kling graduated cum laude from the University of the Incarnate Word with a Bachelor of Business Administration in management.
He married Sonya Reyes Wright in August of 2014. They have five children, Kym, Kat, Dusty, Jacob and Gabby.
Ashton Gautreaux joined Head Coach James Kling's coaching staff as a student assistant. She is a native of Orange, Texas, and attended Faulkner State Community College.
Her academic and athletic honors at Faulkner include: Dean’s List, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, 2016 NJCAA D1 Softball Top Newcomers List Reg. 22 District O, First Team All-South, First Team All-Region, ACCC All-Tournament Team; At Orangefield High School, her honors include: National Honor Society, Magna Cum Laude Honor Graduate, Academic All-State in Basketball, Golf, and Softball; 2012: Golf- District Champs, Softball- Second Team All District; 2013: Golf- State Qualifier, Softball- Second Team All District; 2014: Softball- First Team All District, First Team All County, First Team All-KOGT, First Team VYPE Magazine; 2015: Softball- First Team All District, First Team All County, First Team All-KOGT, Beaumont Enterprise Super Gold Team, SETCA All-Star Team.