Jessica keeps Allister name prominent in college sports |

Jessica keeps Allister name prominent in college sports

Steve Yingling, Tribune sports editor

Give Derek Allister a few minutes to talk basketball and he’ll unselfishly tell you about college coaching cohorts or how tickled he is that a former player is on the right path in junior college.

What the South Tahoe High boys’ basketball coach won’t divulge — unless prompted — is that he and wife, Joann, have a softball-playing daughter who is one of the top players in the Pacific-10 Conference.

Jessica Allister is the Stanford Cardinal’s leader in home runs and RBIs with 11 and 40, respectively. She’s also Stanford’s fourth-leading hitter at .274 and fourth in both hits with 49 and doubles with nine.

In addition, the junior catcher unselfishly is second on the team in walks and sacrifice bunts.

Her defense has also been spectacular behind the plate where she has thrown out 18 of 42 runners trying to steal while allowing only one passed ball.

Allister regularly watches his daughter play in the Bay Area, but it becomes difficult to see her compete in the postseason.

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The 17th-ranked Cardinal (40-24 overall) will open the NCAA Tournament regionals against Chattanooga on Thursday in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

“She’s just a great kid who does a great job,” Allister said. “I don’t know much about softball … I just cheer.”

Allister says he won’t miss his daughter’s games if the Cardinal advances to the College World Series in Oklahoma City, Okla., for the second time in three years. Joann will attend this weekend’s regionals.

Jessica played her high school ball in Nacogdoches, Texas, while Derek was the head coach of Stephen F. Austin University. She began her Stanford softball career prior to her dad resigning at Stephen F. Austin and becoming a teacher and coach at STHS.

Williams deeply respects Haase

If you’ve been following Roy Williams’ press conferences on the University of North Carolina Web site, then you know that Jerod Haase has become almost like a son to the former Kansas Jayhawk coach.

“There’s nothing you can give him that he can’t do,” Williams told the Tar Heel Monthly. “If you put him in charge of a camp, he’ll do a great job. If you put him in the gym with a 6-year-old, he’ll do a great job.

“Our players love him and he’s as competitive a kid as I’ve ever been around. He’s the only player I’ve ever coached who I thought hurt as badly as I did when we lost and that includes 10 years as an assistant here.”

Williams recently appointed Haase, a sensational guard for South Tahoe High from 1988 to 1992, as the Tar Heels’ third coaching assistant. Haase, a four-year administrative assistant at Kansas, replaces Ben Miller, who decided not to follow Williams from Lawrence to Chapel Hill.

“At Kansas last fall I made a decision to rotate that third spot beginning with the 2003-04 year. I’ve had those guys with me a long time. I need to get Jerod and C.B. (McGrath) some coaching experience. I informed Jerod at the time he would be coming in and Ben would be going off. I made that promise to Jerod and when I came to Carolina I wanted to keep that promise.”

Dads always keep their promises to their sons, don’t they?

— Tribune Sports Editor Steve Yingling can be reached at (530) 542-8010 or