Former Clemson standout joins UT Tyler softball coaching staff


Head coach Mike Reed and The University of Texas at Tyler softball program is pleased to announce the addition of Ansley Gilstrap as an assistant coach.

“We are so excited to add Ansley to our coaching staff,” UT Tyler head coach Mike Reed said. “Her successful playing experience at very high levels of softball will be a huge benefit to our program and player development. Her character and passion for the game are evident from the moment you first meet her.”

Gilstrap will join the Patriots coaching staff consisting of coach Reed, Associate Head Coach Whitney Wyly and Assistant Coach Anthony Springer following a standout softball career at the Division I level. Gilstrap most recently completed the 2021 season by guiding Clemson University through the softball program’s first full season of competition after the inaugural year of softball for the Tigers in 2020 was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am so excited to begin my coaching career and continue to surround myself in all that I love about softball, especially at a program like UT Tyler,” Gilstrap said. “Coach Reed and Coach Wyly have established themselves as great leaders and have built such a solid foundation that has allowed the team to be so successful throughout its history. I am excited to learn as much as I can from them and am ready to work and help the program continue to grow.”

Gilstrap and the Tigers were immediate contenders on the national scene, posting an overall record of 44-8 before eventually falling to no. 3 Alabama in the Tuscaloosa Regional back on May 23. She was named a Third Team All-ACC selection after hitting .292 for the Tigers in 2021, starting in 51 of the 52 games for the program.

“I could not be more excited for both Ansley and the UT Tyler softball program,” Clemson Head Coach John Rittman said. “Ansley is one of the most high-character and smartest individuals that I’ve ever coached. I believe her passion for the game as well as mentoring younger players will be a tremendous benefit to the Patriot players and staff.”

Prior to joining Clemson as a senior leader on the inaugural team in 2019, Gilstrap competed at Division I South Carolina-Upstate from 2015-2018. She was named a First Team All-ASUN selection in 2017 and a Second Team All-ASUN pick in 2018, and led her squad to a victory in the 2016 and 2017 ASUN Conference Tournaments to earn automatic bids into the NCAA Division I Regionals.

She was named as the ASUN Conference Tournament MVP during that run for the Spartans in 2017, and was also named to the 2016 ASUN All-Freshman Team.

Gilstrap was active off the field throughout her playing career, serving as a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (S.A.A.C.) during her time at Clemson and as an active participant in the Tiger Leadership Academy, a multi-year program offered by Clemson geared towards discussing and learning leadership and skills. She received multiple accolades for her efforts in the classroom as well, earning 2021 All-ACC and All-ASUN Academic honors in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

The Blythewood, S.C. native will join a coaching staff with a reputation for success at UT Tyler as the program sports a 645-128 (.834) overall record since the inaugural season in 2005, and most recently claimed the 2021 Lone Star Conference Regular Season Championship in the team’s first full season competing in the Lone Star Conference. Head coach Mike Reed guided the Patriots to five American Southwest Conference Championships and the 2016 National Championship as a Division III member.

Gilstrap earned her Master’s in Athletic Leadership from Clemson last May, and also holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Health Science from Clemson.

“Moving so far away from where I have called home, Tyler has already been so welcoming, and I am proud to represent the university and contribute to the softball program’s continued success. #TYLERMADE.” Gilstrap said.