TAMPA – The University of South Florida and head softball coach Ken Eriksen have agreed on a seven-year contract, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Doug Woolard announced on Saturday. Since becoming head coach in 1997, Eriksen has amassed a record of 739-381-1 and is the winningest coach in USF Athletics’ history.
“Coach Eriksen has been a part of the USF family since he was a student-athlete in the early 80s and we’re pleased we’ve entered into a long-term partnership,” Woolard said. “He has developed our softball program into one of the nation’s elite through consistent, sustained success on the field, while emphasizing the importance of strong academics and service to the community. He’s a strong leader, who has done things the right way, and we’re extremely happy he will continue to lead our program.”
During his tenure as head coach, Eriksen has ended the season with a winning record on 15 occasions. He has led 10 teams to the NCAA Regional, won a Regional Championship in 2006 and 2012, and won the 2012 Super Regional to advance to the school's first ever Women's College World Series. Eriksen has also won four conference titles, including a BIG EAST Regular Season title in 2008 and the program's first BIG EAST Tournament Championship in 2013.
“The University of South Florida has been my home for over 30 years and I’m excited that will continue,” said Eriksen. “The Tampa Bay area has been so good to my family and I during that time and the support that softball receives in this area is just fantastic. Here at USF, we have been able to establish a level of success and the program is continuing to thrive. I’m thankful that President Genshaft and her staff, as well as the athletic department’s administration, have continued to give me the opportunity to grow and build this program and I look forward to seeing where we can take it in the coming years.”
Eriksen has guided USF to one 60-win season, six 50-win seasons and nine 40-win seasons. The Bulls finished 2012 ranked No. 8 in the NFCA/USA Today Coaches Poll, their highest finish ever. USF finished the 2003 season with a 54-19 record, and Eriksen was named the Conference USA Coach of the Year. In 2004, USF finished with a record of 60-14--the highest win total in school history--and ranked 12th in the NFCA/USA Today Coaches Poll. In 1999, USF was ranked as high as No. 6 in the NFCA/USA Today Coaches Poll during the season.
While at the helm, Eriksen has coached five All-Americans, including two-time All-American and current USF assistant Monica Triner (1998 and 1999) and current USF pitcher Sara Nevins (2012), 15 All-Region selections and seven NCAA All-Regional Team members.
In Janurary of 2011, Eriksen was also named the head coach for the U.S. Women’s National Team for 2011 and 2012, which included the 2011 Pan American Games and the 2012 International Softball Federation (ISF) World Championships. He became the first male in USA Softball history to represent the organization as both a player and a head coach.
Success has come off the field as well. Under Eriksen, USF has had six Academic All-Americans, nine Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal winners and one BIG EAST Institutional Female Scholar-Athlete. In addition, since joining the BIG EAST in 2005-06, the softball program has produced 110 BIG EAST All-Academic performers. In 2001 and 2003, USF finished first in C-USA among softball teams with a cumulative grade point average of 3.24. In 2009 during the fall, the team finished with a 3.41 GPA and was more impressive with a 3.47 GPA in the spring. Most recently, the softball program received APR Public Recognition in 2013 for having scores in the top-10 percent of its sport.