ILLINOIS STATE Softball
Head Coach Melinda Fischer
Head Coach | 25th Season | 808-528-4 (.604) | Illinois State ‘72
Illinois State...... 1986-present Record ........808-528-4 (.604) Eastern Illinois ......... 1979-80 Record ...............32-17 (.653)
CAREER ACCOLADES • Winningest coach in Illinois State Athletics history.
• Winningest coach in MVC history.
• Missouri Valley Conference AllCentennial Head Softball Coach
• Six-time MVC/Gateway Coach • • • •
• • •
of the Year (1987, ‘95, ‘96, ‘99, ‘01, ‘06). 2006 Speedline/NFCA Great Lakes Region Coaching Staff of the Year. 2002 NFCA Distinguished Service Award winner. 1987 Midwest Region Coach of the Year. Only non-track and field coach in The Valley to coach a conference championship team in two different sports (softball and women’s basketball). Only 16 active NCAA Division I coaches have more career wins than Fischer. Ranks 42nd all-time for overall wins at the NCAA Division I level. Twice inducted into the Illinois State Athletics Hall of Fame.
Only 17 active head coaches in the history of NCAA Division I softball can claim to have won at least 800 games in their coaching career. Illinois State head coach Melinda Fischer, now in her 25th season at the helm of the Redbird softball program, can claim such an honor. And many more. The all-time winningest coach in Illinois State Athletics history. Missouri Valley Conference All-Centennial Team Head Softball Coach. A combined nine Missouri Valley Conference and Gateway Athletic Conference regular-season championships. All of that and more define Illinois State head softball coach Melinda Fischer. Fischer’s 840 career victories, spread out among 26 seasons as a collegiate head coach (at both Eastern Illinois [1979-80] and Illinois State [1986-present]), rank her as the 17thwinningest coach in NCAA Division I softball history. She’s continued her historical rise through the career coaching ranks with her 800th-career victory at Illinois State, a feat she achieved via a two-game sweep over Indiana State April 1, 2009. Simply put, Fischer knows how to motivate her student-athletes to succeed. Fischer has more wins in her Illinois State head coaching career than any other coach in Redbird Athletics history, with an ISU softball head coaching record that stands at 808-528-4 (.604) entering the 2010 season. She earned her 714th-career victory at Illinois State April 14, 2007, with a win over Drake, and in the process, passed legendary Redbird baseball coach Duffy Bass (deceased), as the all-time winningest coach in Redbird Athletics history. Fischer is not only the Missouri Valley Conference’s winningest coach of all-time, but also its winningest coach in conference play. Even more impressive than that is the fact that her 764 victories as a head coach of a Missouri Valley Conference member school rank her sixth all-time among all Valley head coaches in any league-sponsored sport. During her 24 seasons at the helm of the Illinois State softball program, Fischer has directed the Redbirds to national prominence, most recently with their sixth NCAA Regional appearance in 2007, the program’s second-straight at-large bid. Fischer has led her teams to nine regular-season Valley titles, including four in the last eight seasons. She also has two Gateway regular-season championships to her credit and three Valley Tournament titles. Her success and devotion to softball extends beyond Illinois State, as she was the first recipient of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Distinguished Service Award at the Speedline Coach of the Year/NFCA Hall of Fame Banquet in December 2002. In addition to guiding her teams to high levels of success, Fischer’s numerous awards and honors, plus her team’s accolades, speak for themselves. A recipient of six conference coach of the year honors, Fischer has led a coaching staff that was honored as both the Missouri Valley Conference Coaching Staff of the Year and the Speedline/NFCA Great Lakes Region Coaching Staff of the year in 2006. Two regional coach of the year citations, 16 All-Americans, five College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-Americans and countless other honors highlight Illinois State’s success under Fischer. Fischer’s attraction to softball started well before she became head softball coach at Illinois State in 1986. She began her coaching career in 1974 after a four-year stint as an ISU student-athlete. She became a graduate assistant coach for ISU’s softball and basketball teams while completing a master’s degree in physical education. As an athlete at Illinois State, Fischer helped lead the Redbirds to the 1969 Women’s College World Series, where they finished second. Although the team fell one game shy of winning the first Women’s College World Series, her contribution to the team led to her induction into the ISU Athletics Hall of Fame as a member of the 1969 national runner-up softball team. She has also been inducted as a coach.
2010 Redbird Softball Media Guide
An indepth look of the Illinois State softball program.