LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The NFCA is pleased to announce seven new additions and the re-election of an existing member to serve a two-year term, stretching from December of 2013 through December of 2015, as part of the Association’s Board of Directors.
Each coach on the 16-member board is slated to serve a two-year term with the potential, if re-elected, to hold his or her respective position over consecutive, two-year stints.
Georgetown University head coach Pat Conlan has taken over the first vice president role while recent NFCA Board of Directors members, Boston University head coach Kathryn Gleason and University of Louisville associate head coach Carol Bruggeman, become the first member coaches to serve in the newly-created third and fourth vice president roles, respectively. University of Memphis head coach Natalie Poole will function as the Division I representative, Eastern Connecticut State University head coach Diana Pepin will take over as the Division III representative and William Carey University head coach Wendy Hogue will serve as the new NAIA representative. Arizona State University assistant coach Boo Gillette was re-elected for her second stint as the assistant coach representative.
The Emeriti group, a new designation approved by the membership for retired coaches who were members of the NFCA in good standing over the last 10 years of their careers, will have its representative role filled by former Florida State head coach Dr. JoAnne Graf.
Continuing their terms on the NFCA Board of Directors are University of Nebraska head coach Rhonda Revelle (NFCA President), University of Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy (NFCA Past President), Northwestern University head coach Kate Drohan (NFCA Second Vice President), Missouri Southern State University head coach Bill Gray (NFCA Division II Representative), Sierra College head coach Darci Brownell (NFCA Cal JC Representative), Deer Park High School (TX) head coach Carrie Austgen (NFCA High School Representative) and Texas Glory head coach Kevin Shelton (NFCA Travel Ball Representative). The position of NJCAA Representative is currently vacant and will be filled later this month.
Pat Conlan – NFCA First Vice President
Heading into her 21st year as a collegiate softball coach, Conlan has spent the last nine years and posted 125 total wins guiding Georgetown University from the club level into a Division I program.
Prior to her time at Georgetown she served on the staff at North Carolina State where she gained experience in all phases of a Division I program in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Her duties included recruiting coordinator, budget preparation, NCAA compliance, team travel, practice, game planning, training and community service. In her two seasons with the Pack, she was instrumental in the success of a pitching staff that compiled a 1.71 ERA, holding opposition to a .199 batting average, while recording 491 strikeouts in 227.1 innings pitched in 2005.
Conlan spent six seasons prior to her tenure at N.C. State at her alma mater, the University of Connecticut, where she helped the Huskies finish in second and third place in the BIG EAST Conference during the 2000 and 2001 seasons, respectively. In 2001 she was a member of the NFCA Northeast Region Coaching Staff of the Year, after helping direct the team to the BIG EAST title.
During her career, Conlan also served, for three seasons, as the head softball coach at Fairfield University, a position she gained after one campaign as an assistant. As the head coach at Fairfield, Conlan helped the Stags to a runner-up finish in the 1997 MAAC tournament and the program's first winning season since 1988.
As a player at UConn, Conlan led the Huskies to a fifth-place finish in the 1993 Women’s College World Series. She earned All-American status and was named BIG EAST Pitcher of the Year, first team All-BIG EAST, All-New England, All-ECAC and All-Northeast. In four years as a player, her teams captured four BIG EAST tournament titles, while she compiled a 55-17 career record. Conlan also set school records for wins in a season (26), shutouts in a season (14), complete games (26) and consecutive innings without allowing an earned run (73.2).
Kathryn Gleason – NFCA Third Vice President
A 16-year coaching veteran, Gleason is preparing to begin her second campaign as the head coach at Boston University.
During her first season, the Terriers faced multiple injuries, including the loss of the 2012 America East Pitcher of the Year, but still went 21-26-1. Highlights included wins over two 2013 NCAA tournament participants, Southern Conference champion Georgia Southern and Big Sky champion Portland State. BU also claimed a two-game sweep over ACC member Boston College.
Accepting her first head coaching position at BU, Gleason was already quite familiar with the Terriers, having spent a combined six seasons at the University of Massachusetts, including the last two as associate head coach. Working primarily with the Minutewomen's infielders, she helped lead the team to the 2012 Atlantic 10 championship and a 38-13 overall record after finishing 29-19 in 2011.
Gleason previously served as an assistant coach with the Minutewomen from 1996-2000, helping lead the team to two WCWS appearances, four Atlantic-10 regular season titles and four A-10 championship crowns.
Before rejoining UMass in 2010, she coached for six years at Michigan State, serving the last five years as associate head coach. She primarily worked with the infield, coaching six All-Big Ten and four all-region honorees, along with guiding the Spartans to four straight Big Ten tournament berths.
Joining the Spartans' staff in June of 2004, Gleason moved to State following a three-year stint as an assistant coach at Purdue University (2001-2004) and four years as an assistant coach at UMass (1996-2000).
While working with the Boilermakers, Gleason assisted with team academics, equipment, promotions, tournaments, facilities, recruiting and strength & conditioning. On game days, she supervised and directed the outfield and assisted with the offense.
As a player at the University of Michigan, Gleason was a member of the 1993, `95 and `96 Big Ten regular season championship teams, the `95 and `96 Big Ten tournament championship squads, and played in both the `95 and `96 WCWS.
Carol Bruggeman – NFCA Fourth Vice President
Currently an associate head coach entering her ninth season at the University of Louisville, Bruggeman has helped guide the Cardinals to three BIG EAST Conference championships and 10 straight NCAA appearances. During her tenure at U of L, the Cards have produced 54 All-BIG EAST selections, 16 All-Region team members, eight All-Americans and three conference player or pitchers of the year.
Last season, Bruggeman helped the Cardinals to a 47-13 overall mark while placing a school record-tying nine UL players on the All-BIG EAST Conference teams. U of L also hosted an NCAA Regional for the third straight season (No. 15 national seed) and fourth time in program history.
In 2012, she was an integral member of the BIG EAST and NFCA Great Lakes Region Coaching Staffs of the Year after leading the Cards to a program-best 55-5 record. Louisville captured the BIG EAST regular season and tournament titles and earned the overall No. 15 seed in the NCAA tournament. U of L spent the majority of the season ranked in the top 10 of the ESPN.com/USA Softball and USA Today/NFCA coaches' polls, appearing as high as Nos. 7 and 9 respectively.
As U of L's first associate head coach Bruggeman is responsible for recruiting and works primarily with the defense. She also assists with offense, game preparation, coordinates team leadership meetings and summer and winter softball camps.
Bruggeman came to Louisville from Purdue, where she started the Boilermaker softball program and was the head coach from 1994 to 2005. She guided the team to a 21-17-1 inaugural season in 1994 posting the best first-year record in Big Ten history. Her teams posted 30 or more wins in nine of her last 10 seasons at Purdue. With Bruggeman at the helm, Purdue had 23 All-Big Ten selections, 24 All-Mideast Region selections and one NFCA First Team All-American.
Prior to working at Purdue, Bruggeman was an assistant coach at Michigan from 1989 to 1993. During that time, the Wolverines won back-to-back Big Ten championships in 1992 and 1993. Michigan earned NCAA tournament bids both years, marking the first postseason trips in program history.
Bruggeman began her coaching career as a graduate assistant at her alma mater Iowa. As a player for the Hawkeyes, she earned All-Big Ten and All-Mideast Region honors as an infielder. She was also an Academic All-American, a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and received Iowa's Athletic Academic Medal of Honor. In 1997, Bruggeman was inducted into the Iowa Softball Association Hall of Fame.
Bruggeman's expertise has also been recognized by her peers. In 2010, she completed a four-year term as president of the NFCA and in 2012, completed a two-year term as past president on the NFCA Board. She was also the national Division I representative for the NFCA from 1996-2000. In 2007, she was selected to be an instructor for the National Fastpitch Coaches College, teaching various NFCA courses throughout the country. In conjunction with her coaching duties, Bruggeman has been a featured speaker at more than 125 national softball clinics and professional business organizations.
Natalie Poole – NFCA Division I Representative
With 356 career victories stretching over 12 years as a head coach, Poole prepares to enter her third campaign in charge of the Memphis program.
During her second campaign at Memphis in 2013, Poole led the Tigers to 24 victories and an 8-16 mark in Conference USA action. Two of her players, senior outfielder Lelani Bernardino and freshman outfielder Hannah Harrell were each named all-conference for their efforts.
Poole became the U of M's softball program's second head coach in 2012 after spending three seasons leading the way at McNeese State. She guided the Cowgirls to three-straight 30-win seasons, including a school-record 38 wins in 2010. Poole guided McNeese State to two Southland Conference (SLC) tournament championship games, winning the title in 2010 and advancing to NCAA Regionals. A former standout catcher for McNeese State as a player, Poole compiled a 100-84 overall coaching record during the three years and went 55-35 in conference play.
Prior to returning to her alma mater, Poole served as the head coach for seven seasons at Georgia Southern, where she compiled a 212-215 career record. The Eagles went 71-53 in the Southern Conference under her tutelage and earned a trip to the NCAA tournament in 2006. She was named the SoCon Coach of the Year in 2002, her first year as a head coach.
During her time at Georgia Southern, the Eagles had just one losing conference season and finished outside the top-four only once. The program set more than 15 single-season records with four of the top six all-time home run seasons occuring under her tenure.
As a college athlete, Poole was a standout catcher for McNeese State from 1994-97. She was a three-time All-Southland Conference pick (1995-97) and a two-time All-South Region selection (1996-97). Poole also earned All-Louisiana honors in 1996. As a freshman, she helped the Cowgirls to a Southland Conference title and the school's first NCAA tournament appearance. Poole was named McNeese State's Most Valuable Player her senior year and concluded her playing career with a .296 batting average.
Diana Pepin – NFCA Division III Representative
Heading into her 13th season, the most for any coach at the helm of Eastern Connecticut State, Pepin has guided her team to 314 total victories and five visits to the NCAA tournament over the last six years.
Following the 2013 campaign, during which her squad posted a 28-14 overall mark, she was also voted as Little East Conference Coach of the Year for the fourth time in six years and the fifth time since 2006.
Pepin has coached and won more games than any of the previous six coaches in the program's lengthy history, moving to the top in games coached during the national tournament opener on May 20, 2011, against Christopher Newport. She became the program's winningest head coach with her 285th victory in a 6-0 home triumph over Ithaca College in the fourth round of the 2012 NCAA Regional tournament.
In 2012, Pepin became the first coach in program history to be recognized as ECAC New England Division III Coach of the Year after leading the Warriors to an historic 44-3 season that included a 36-1 regular-season mark and record 40-game win streak.
Pepin has directed her alma mater to eight consecutive 20-win seasons -- nine in the last 10 years -- and at least a share of the LEC regular-season title five times in the last six years -- including outright regular-season titles from 2010 through 2013 -- and a regular-season finish of second or better seven times since 2006. In 2012, the Warriors followed up two straight 13-1 LEC regular-season showings with a perfect 14-0 ledger -- the first season of conference perfection by any team in the history of the championship.
Pepin was a four-year letterwinner and three-year starter as an infielder in the Eastern Connecticut State softball program between 1988 and 1991, helping the Warriors to four regional championships, the championship round of three national tournaments and the 1990 NCAA Division III national championship.
Wendy Hogue – NFCA NAIA Representative
Hogue is preparing to begin her 10th season at the helm of the William Carey softball program, entering the 2014 campaign with 321 career victories.
During her time at WCU, Hogue has built the Lady Crusaders into a national power, having captured two Gulf Coast Athletic Conference titles, two Southern States Athletic Conference West Division regular season titles, one Southern States Athletic Conference overall crown and made five appearances in the NAIA National Tournament over the last six years.
Hogue was named GCAC Coach of the Year in 2009, SSAC Coach of the Year in 2011 and as part of the NFCA East Region Coaching Staff of the Year in 2009, 2011, and 2012.
She first arrived at William Carey in 1995, playing on the inaugural team under current Baylor head coach Glenn Moore.
Her coaching career began as an assistant coach for slow-pitch softball in 1998 at Petal High School (MS). In 2000, Hogue became the first head coach for fast pitch softball at Petal. In five years with the Lady Panthers, her teams reached the playoffs each year and won two district titles.
Boo Gillette – NFCA Assistant Coach Representative
Gillette joined the Arizona State staff as an assistant for new Sun Devil head coach Craig Nicholson on July 16, 2013.
She most recently completed her third season with the North Carolina softball program. As an assistant coach with the Tar Heels she coordinated the team's recruiting efforts and served as the bullpen and base-running coach.
Gillette moved to UNC after serving as assistant coach for Purdue University from 2007-10. Working with the Boilermaker pitchers and catchers, Gillette coached five Big Ten Players of the Week, nine All-Big Ten Conference team members and five TPS/Louisville Slugger All-Mideast Region players. Previous to her time at Purdue, Gillette served as the head coach at Madison Area Technical College from 2006-07.
A 2006 graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Gillette was the starting catcher for the Badgers for four seasons. A three-time team captain and three-time All-Big Ten catcher under head coach Karen Gallagher, Gillette was recruited as a catcher/pitcher/utility player and started in every game of her college career. She ranked among the Badger career top 10 in 14 different categories, including home runs (20).
Dr. JoAnne Graf – NFCA Coach Emeriti Group Representative
Recently retired from teaching, Dr. Graf served as an associate professor in sport management, recreation management and physical education at Florida State University where she was responsible for teaching in the school’s sport management program. Classes she taught included: Principles and Problems of Coaching, Introduction to Sport Management, Current Issues in Sport Management, Diversity in Sport, Governance in Sport and Human Resource Management in Sport. Additional duties included overseeing the Lifetime Activities Program with 90-95 classes and 45-50 instructors. She also served as a liaison between the athletic department, intramural program and lifetime activities with regard to facility use.
On the softball diamond, Dr. Graf was the head coach at Florida State from 1978-2008 during which she posted a staggering career record of 1,437-478-6. She averaged over 50 wins a season and retired from coaching as the all-time leader in career triumphs. A 2003 inductee into the NFCA Hall of Fame, Graf was the first collegiate softball coach to earn 1,400 victories. Her numerous achievements with Seminole softball include AIAW slowpitch national championships in 1981 and 1982, seven trips to the NCAA Women’s College World Series (WCWS) after FSU switched to fastpitch following the 1982 season, 21 NCAA regional appearances and 10 Atlantic Coast Conference titles.
Named the ACC Coach of the Year six times, Graf’s coaching produced players that earned 25 All-America awards, 96 All-Region awards and 74 players with All-ACC honors. Over her 30 years in coaching, the Seminoles recorded 25 seasons of 40 or more victories, 15 seasons of 50 or more victories and three seasons where the team surpassed the 60-win mark. Graf was named the NFCA South Region Coach of the Year in 1986, and she and her staff earned NFCA Southeast Coaching Staff of the Year honors in 2001, 2002 and 2004.
On April 2, 2005, Florida State University President Dr. T.K. Wetherell officially renamed the softball stadium “JoAnne Graf Field at the Seminole Softball Complex.”
Graf is a 1975 graduate of Florida State. In 1992, she added “Dr.” to her name after completing her doctorate degree in athletic administration at FSU.