Natasha Watley returns to UCLA for her fifth season as the team's volunteer assistant coach. Following the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, the two-time Olympian joined the coaching staff as an undergraduate assistant coach in 2005 before becoming a volunteer assistant prior to the 2006 campaign.
A four-time, first-team All-American, All-Region and All-Pac-10 selection at shortstop during her playing career at UCLA, Watley was named the Honda Award winner for the sport of softball at the conclusion of her senior season in 2003 and went on to become the second softball recipient of the Honda-Broderick Cup, which is presented annually to the nation's top collegiate female athlete. She joins USA Softball teammate and former Bruin Lisa Fernandez as the only softball recipients of the Honda-Broderick Cup.
Watley finds her name at the top of the UCLA offensive charts in hits (395), runs scored (252), at-bats (878), triples (21) and stolen bases (158). She is also second in average at .450, tying her for seventh in NCAA history. Watley places in the NCAA Top 10 in hits (3rd), runs (T-6th) and steals (10th). She had over 100 hits in each of her last three seasons, leading the Bruins in hits, as well as stolen bases, all four years. Watley started all 251 games she appeared in, which is third on UCLA's all-time games played list.
Watley's collegiate career ended in dramatic style as she led the Bruins to the 2003 NCAA Championship, the 10th National Championship in program history. She earned All-Women's College World Series honors for her efforts, a feat she also accomplished in 2002.
Following her collegiate career, Watley was named to the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team, where she would go on to start at shortstop and hit .400 (12-for-30) for the United States in the Athens Olympics. Watley started all nine games for Team USA, turning in a double, a triple and five stolen bases in those starts and helping the U.S. to the gold medal.
In 2008 at the Beijing Games, Team USA won a silver medal, as Watley hit .321 (9-for-28) with six runs scored, six runs batted in, two homers and two steals. She had a hit in eight of the nine games, starting every contest at shortstop.
Last summer, Watley helped the U.S. National Team to gold medals at the KFC World Cup of Softball, the Canada Cup and the Japan Cup. She is a three-time World Cup Champion ('06 and '07), two-time Pan American Games gold medalist ('03 & '07) and two-time World Champion (2002 and 2006).
In 2009, Watley played in the Japan League for Team Toyota and has also played professionally in the National Pro Fastpitch League (2005 and '06) and the PFX Tour since 2007.
Watley graduated from UCLA with a sociology degree in 2005.