NFCA Executive Director
Carol Bruggeman began her role as the Executive Director of the NFCA on February 1, 2016. Under her leadership, the Association's membership has elevated to over 5,500 members, new sponsors have partnered with the NFCA team and long-time sponsors have renewed, member benefits and services have been added and the home office in Louisville has seen significant upgrades and renovations.
Since her appointment to executive director, Bruggeman played an integral role in the hiring of Samantha Ekstrand, the NFCA’s legal counsel, a well-received member benefit for college coaches, the addition of seven coaches clinic, the partnerships formed with several new NFCA sponsors, the launches of a new camp and job posting website (SDI), a softball scoring seminar and NFCA podcast.
Most recently, under her leadership, the 2016 and 2017 NFCA National Conventions have seen record numbers each year. A record 1,687 attendees gathered in Las Vegas in 2017, a year after the Association set the mark with 1,592 in New Orleans. Additionally, the convention’s exhibit hall has sold out the last three years with a record number of companies in Las Vegas.
The Association added to their education platform in April of 2017 by purchasing seven National Softball Coaches Clinics, which have provided softball coaches access to the highest quality of instruction for the past 30 years. In addition to the clinics,
Serving as the interim director for five months, Bruggeman presided over what at the time was the Association’s second-most attended National Convention (2015), a successful first-time NFCA Coaches Clinic in January, 2016, which has led to the annual local clinic. and the rolling out of a new benefit for its youth coaches, Softball Excellence.
A longtime NCAA Division I coach at Michigan, Purdue and Louisville, and a well-respected national speaker, clinician, educator and author, she joined the NFCA as Associate Executive Director in September 2014.
Bruggeman is certainly no stranger to the Association having been an active member for 25 years while unselfishly serving the NFCA in numerous capacities. Included are a four-year term as president and stints as both the past-president and fourth vice president on the NFCA’s Board of Directors, as the board’s Division I Representative and as a featured instructor at numerous National Fastpitch Coaches College courses throughout the country.
Bruggeman has also served as the color analyst for ESPN, Big Ten and SEC Network broadcasts. In 2016, she served as the analyst for the Division I Super Regional between LSU and James Madison, a first for Bruggeman. She also co-produced Level 1 and Level 2 instructional DVDs on softball-specific athlete development and has produced instructional DVDs focusing on baserunning and defense. In July 2011, Bruggeman traveled to Australia as head coach of the college team that won a gold medal with USA-Athletes International and she traveled to the Czech Republic in 2009 in the same role.
During her career, Bruggeman has been a part of over 700 victories, and has had a hand in many conference titles and coached numerous NFCA All-Americans.
As an infielder at the University of Iowa, she was an All-Big Ten and All-Mideast Region selection, as well as an Academic All-American and a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, who received Iowa’s Athletic Academic Medal of Honor. In 1997, Bruggeman was inducted into the Iowa Softball Association Hall of Fame.
A native of Charter Oak, Iowa, she received her bachelor’s degree in accounting and business from Iowa in 1987 and continued her education at Iowa, earning a master’s in athletic administration and coaching in 1990.