Joining the 49er staff in 2008 as the Director of Operations is Panita Thanatharn. Thanatharn will handle administrative duties as well as help with the coaching during Tairia Flowers' absences from the team due to her Olympic and Team USA duties.
Thanatharn had a very long run with the program as a player, coming to Long Beach State during the 2002 season, where she played in 42 games and hit .237 as a freshman. Starting out very hot in the 2003 season, she had 10 hits in 19 at-bats before a season ending injury, which kept her out of the lineup for all of that year as well as 2004. Returning in 2005, Thanatharn played in 47 games over the next two years before becoming the starting third basemen as a senior, where she earned All-Big West honors after starting all 53 games and hitting .291 while driving in 20 runs.
Winner of the University's Todd Hart Courage Award for her comeback from injury, Thanatharn was also an outstanding student, earning Academic All-Big West honors three times and numerous 49er Academic All-Star Awards. Additionally, she was a finalist for the Lowe's CLASS award, given to one senior softball player nationally that best defined a complete student-athlete. She graduated in 2006 with a degree in Kinesiology and is continuing work on her Master's while at Long Beach State.
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