Groff to retire after 43 seasons
American International College Athletics
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The upcoming softball season will mark the 43rd and final season as head softball coach at American International College for Judy Groff, who will retire at the conclusion of the 2011 campaign.
“Over the past 40-plus years, I have thoroughly enjoyed and found it professionally rewarding to be a part of the growth and development of the athletics program at the College, particularly in the growth of women's sports,” said Groff. “I truly appreciate the opportunities and support provided over the years.”
Groff, who was inducted into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Hall of Fame November 30, 2007, is the only coach to guide the Yellow Jackets program since it was founded in 1969. Since that time she has compiled an overall record of 953-611-5 (.609) with 32 winning seasons in 42 years on the bench.
In terms of where she ranks among her peers, Groff is fourth on the active Division II wins list, seventh on the all-time Division II wins list, ranks 21st on the NCAA career victories list - which includes all Division I, II and III coaches.
She also had another honor rarely bestowed upon an active coach given to her on April 29, 2006 when AIC renamed the school's softball field the "Coach Judy Groff Softball Field." In 1999, Groff was inducted into the National Association of Girl's and Women's Sports Hall of Fame.
Groff has guided the program to 14 NCAA Championship Tournament appearances, including a run of 10 appearances in 11 years from 1993-2003, and led the Yellow Jackets to the Division II College World Series in 1996 and 1997. AIC also captured eight Northeast-10 regular season titles (1985-90, 1994, 1997), three NE-10 tournament championships (1987, 1996, 2003) and three ECAC Division II championships (1986, 1988, 1991).
“Judy's impact has reached far beyond the softball field during her time at AIC,” added director of athletics Richard Bedard. “She has impacted many lives as a successful and respected coach, teacher, administrator, counselor, mentor, and friend, and will be missed by all of us at the College. We wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors.”
Groff earned her 950th career win with a 2-1 victory over Stonehill College in the opening round of the 2010 Northeast-10 Championship Tournament. The sixth-seeded Yellow Jackets advanced through the losers bracket to the tournament championship final, marking the eighth time in program history that AIC played for the conference tournament title. Career win No. 900 was a 4-3 game-two win over Bentley University April 26, 2008.