The Associated Press | June 24, 2015 Illinois hires Ball St.'s Perry as head coach Tyra Perry led Ball State to a NCAA regional appearance last year. Share CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Illinois has named Ball State coach Tyra Perry as its new coach Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas said in a news release Wednesday that Perry has been hired after two seasons at Ball State. "We are thrilled to welcome Tyra Perry to the Illinois family as our new head softball coach," Thomas said. "There was a great amount of interest in the program, with Tyra separating herself from a deep and talented pool of candidates. The Big Ten Conference has a strong tradition in softball, and I am confident Tyra will help us maintain our upward momentum and push us to new heights." Perry will replace the recently retired Terri Sullivan and become the school's second head coach in program history. "It is a great honor to be named the next head softball coach at the University of Illinois,” Perry said. “I am passionate about the wonderful game of softball and will work tirelessly to help lead our program to prominence in the Big Ten and on the national stage. I am thankful to Mike Thomas and the Fighting Illini family for giving me the opportunity to compete at the highest level. I am excited and ready to get to work." Under Sullivan, Illinois was 26-27 but she led teams to four NCAA tournament trips in earlier years. Perry was 34-25 last season at Ball State. The team made the NCAA regionals. She is 409-388-1 in 15 years as a head coach. She also coached at Western Kentucky and Birmingham Southern. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.