July 29, 2014
East Lansing, Mich. - - Michigan State assistant softball coach Jessica Bograkos is one of seven individuals who will be enshrined in the Greater Lansing Sports Hall of Fame on Thursday, July 31. The former Jessica Beech, who was a standout at Michigan State after an impressive scholastic career at Okemos High School, is in her eighth season as an assistant coach for the Spartans.
"I am humbled and honored to be a part such an impressive, exclusive group," said Bograkos. " I'm so grateful for the opportunities that my athletic career has afforded me, as well as the lasting relationships I have cultivated throughout it. I'm incredibly fortunate to have had such an amazing group of coaches, mentors and friends who always encouraged me, challenged me and taught me so may lasting lessons. Jacquie Joseph, Dan Stolz, Tim "Red" Wakeham, Amanda Scott, my parents Tim and Barb.... the list goes on. Thank you isn't sufficient for what they taught and fostered in me over the years.
"I also want to thank the selection committee for making me a part of this induction class," continued Bograkos. "It is a tremendous honor to represent both Okemos and Michigan State in the Greater Lansing Sports Hall of Fame."
"This is absolutely a very deserving honor for Jess, and I am thrilled that she is being honored in this community," said MSU head coach Jacquie Joseph, who not only recruited and coached Bograkos as an undergrad, but hired her to work with the program in 2007. "She is obviously well-known in MSU circles as a very successful softball player, but she was a tremendous three-sport athlete in high school. She has used all of those experiences to be an outstanding teacher, role model, and coach for the athletes in our program."
A 2000 graduate of Okemos High School Bograkos was an All-State performer in volleyball, basketball and softball. In 2000, she led the Chiefs to their first MHSAA Division I state softball championship and was honored with the State of Michigan's Miss Softball (Pitcher) Award. She completed her high school career with a then-state record 57 consecutive victories and an ERA of 0.57. Bograkos is listed in the MHSAA State Record Book a total of twelve times, five times in pitching categories and seven times in hitting categories.
Bograkos continued her softball career with the Spartans (2001-04), twice earning National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-America kudos. Bograkos holds the MSU record for career no-hitters (4), wins (72), shutouts (24) and strikeouts (659). In addition, she holds single-season records for wins (29), innings pitched (283.1), appearances (53), shutouts (13) and the top two spots on the single-season strikeout chart (264, 235). Bograkos earned her first All-America honor following her junior year, during which she posted a 27-11 record with a 1.25 ERA, 30 complete games and 13 shutouts. Bograkos also hit .254 (43-for-169) on the season and was a Second-Team All-Big Ten selection.
As a senior, Bograkos was a First-Team All-Big Ten selection, as she not only posted 29 wins as a pitcher but led the Big Ten in batting in conference games with a .406 batting average. She earned Big Ten All-Tournament Team honors, was an All-Big Ten pick, and was a CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree.
Bograkos and her husband, Tim, reside in Okemos with their three-year old son, Tyler.
The 39th Annual Dinner and Induction Ceremony will be held on Thursday at the Lansing Center. More information can be found at www.lansingsportshalloffame.org/2014DinnerInformation.html.