ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Veteran Williams College softball coach Kris Herman was elected to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association's Hall of Fame Class of 2020, it was announced this evening by the organization.
Herman has coached at the collegiate level for 32 years, the last 16 years at Williams after a 16-year stint coaching her alma mater, Tufts University. She will enter the 2020 season only 37 wins shy of the 800-mark, having compiled a 767-388-5 record (.662 winning percentage). Herman will be inducted into the HOF at the NFCA Convention in Dallas, Texas on December 11, 2020.
"Kris' coaching career is one that any coach might envy," Williams Athletic Director Lisa Melendy said. "Her teams have had tremendous success, but perhaps what I admire most about Kris is her decision to remake her coaching mid-career. She is constantly trying to improve, not in the results column, but in the coaching column. She wants to be better and she wants to serve her athletes to the best of her ability in every way possible. In order to do that she evaluated everything she did, from recruiting to game day rituals. She made many changes while holding onto the fundamental values she held most dear."
Herman coached her Tufts University teams to NCAA Tournament appearances in her final seven seasons at the school. Her Jumbos won the first three New England Small College Athletic Conference Tournaments in 2001, 2002 and 2003, and after coming to Williams in 2004, her Ephs won the next three NESCAC Tournament titles. In her 16 years at Williams, Herman has guided the Ephs to 9 NCAA Div. III Tournament appearances and 5 NCAA Regional Championships. The Ephs have made 3 NCAA Super Regional appearances and advanced to the Div. III World Series 4 times (2005, 2006, 2017, 2019).
On March 27, 2018, Herman reached the 700-win milestone in her career. She became the 17th coach at the Div. III level to surpass 700 wins in a career.
Over the past five seasons, Herman has guided her Ephs to four NESCAC West Division titles, three NESCAC championships and five straight trips into the NCAA Div. III Tournament. The Ephs hosted an NCAA Regional for the first time in program history in 2014 and repeated the feat in 2015, 2016 and 2017. In 2017, Williams hosted a NCAA Super Regional for the first time and repeated that feat in 2018.
The 2019 team was Herman's fourth to advance to the NCAA Div. III national championships. The 2017 squad won two games in the championship round and finished tied for 3rd in the country, the Ephs best-finish ever. The 2019 team won one game, eliminating No. 1 seed University of St. Thomas in extra innings, and finished 5th. In total, Herman has a 428-224-2 record at Williams.
In her 32 seasons, Herman has coached 15 All Americans and 39 First Team All-New England players.
"The impact coach had on me and my teammates has extended way beyond the softball field and for years and miles since graduating," Bucknell University head coach and Team Canada member Joey Lye '09 said. "Her continued evolution as a person and a coach is inspirational to everyone around her. My teammates and I look forward to celebrating Kris' accomplishments; she is so deserving of an induction into the NFCA Hall of Fame!"
It was Lye and Middlebury head coach Kelly Bevere who nominated Herman for consideration into the NFCA Hall of Fame.
"Kris has been a leader in the softball community for a long time," Bevere said. "She cares deeply about the game and has been a great ambassador for our sport. I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to coach against her all of these years and look forward to many more."
Established in 1983, the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) is the professional growth organization for fastpitch softball coaches from all competitive levels of play. Although collegiate coaches comprised the majority of the organization's membership in the early days, today they are joined by high school, travel ball, professional and international coaches, along with umpires, clubs, businesses and fans of fastpitch softball. Growing from 40 members in 1983 to over 5,700 today, the NFCA boasts members from all 50 states and 11 international countries – Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland and Sweden.