Aug. 8, 2013
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern Vice President for Athletics and Recreation Jim Phillips announced today (Aug. 8) the signing of NU head softball coach Kate Drohan to a five-year contract extension. The extension ensures that Kate, who along with her twin sister, associate head coach Caryl Drohan, has led the Wildcats program since 2002, will continue the Drohan era in Evanston through 2018.
"Northwestern softball under Kate Drohan has separated itself as a model program for combining on-field success with outstanding work in the classroom and the community," Phillips said. "Her student-athletes have achieved record-breaking numbers of Academic All-Big Ten awards and community service activity in recent years. Her program has won multiple Big Ten championships and has a tremendous record of success in the NCAA Tournament and Women's College World Series. We could not be more excited about the Drohan era continuing in Evanston."
"We are grateful for the support from Dr. Phillips, President Schapiro and the University," Drohan said. "Their investment in our program is remarkable and allows us to create an environment of excellence every day in the classroom, at practice and once the first pitch of the season is thrown. Our individual and collective commitment to return to Oklahoma City and the Women's College World Series is what it means to wear Purple."
After 12 seasons at the helm of the 'Cats, Drohan's career record of 417-228-1 gives her a .646 winning percentage. NU has reached the Super Regional round of the NCAA Tournament four times under the Drohans and became the first private school in NCAA history to advance to the Women's College World Series semifinals in consecutive years (2006-07). That trademark postseason success has led to a 27-19 all-time record in eight appearances, including a winning 5-4 mark at the WCWS.
Big Ten dominance also has become one of the Drohans' hallmarks. The 'Cats have captured two Big Ten regular season titles while also winning a Big Ten Tournament title in 2008, the last year for the event before it was brought back in 2013. The Drohans' career conference record is 152-81, buoyed by NU leading the Big Ten in total league victories four times during their tenure.
Members of the 2006 Speedline/NFCA National Coaching Staff of the Year, the Drohans have coached individual Wildcats to 14 All-America and 65 All-Big Ten honors since 2002. Eight former Wildcats have gone on to play in National Professional Fastpitch, three have played a part in the U.S. National Team program and countless others have gone on to diverse and impactful professional careers in industries spanning the globe. Drohan herself was a member of the U.S. National Team coaching pool from 2009-12.
In 2013, Northwestern earned a program-record 11 Academic All-Big Ten awards while junior Marisa Bast won the eighth Capital One Academic All-America honor in program history. NU also played a large role in community service initiatives to benefit area organizations such as the Hunger Resource Network and NU women's swimming and diving's "Breaststroke 4 Breast Cancer".
A much respected and sought-after clinician, Drohan has delivered lectures to players, coaches and students of the game across the country. Beyond the softball arena, the business community has shown a strong interest in the leadership tools Drohan has developed within the program, leading to speaking engagements in the management world as well.
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